John Sunol: Ex-cabbie told to stop gay bashing

"The language is strong and abusive": A statement form the judgment ordering John Sunol to stop pusblishing material online vilifying homosexuals. Picture: Simone De Peak
"The language is strong and abusive": A statement form the judgment ordering John Sunol to stop pusblishing material online vilifying homosexuals. Picture: Simone De Peak

FORMER Newcastle taxi driver John Sunol has been ordered to refrain from re-publishing material vilifying homosexuals on any website after he was again dragged before the Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 

Sydney gay rights activist Gary Burns took Mr Sunol to the tribunal over comments posted on his blog in March last year and another person’s comments in relation to same sex marriage which were endorsed by Mr Sunol. 

The offending material related to comments by Mr Sunol that included: ‘‘Gay marriage equality makes it even more easier for paedophiles to gain access to their child victims’’ and ‘‘gay marriage is child abuse’’. The other comments read: ‘‘Rape little boys, this is same sex marriage. If you want this, sit back in your armchair and let the homosexual lobby push for same sex marriage. This is the end results of same sex marriage.  Sit back and enjoy yourself whilst this goes on.’’

Mr Burns made three complaints to the tribunal that the publication of certain material on Mr Sunol’s website constituted homosexual vilification in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. 

In a judgment published on Thursday, the tribunal found the first two complaints were substantiated and the third was partly substantiated. 

‘‘The target of this publication is parties to same sex marriage, namely homosexual men or women,’’ one extract from the judgment reads.

‘‘The language is strong and abusive and imputes serious criminal conduct. In our view, the words used have the capacity to urge and prompt hatred towards, serious contempt for or severe ridicule of both parties to a same sex marriage on the ground of their homosexuality among ordinary internet users at large.’’

The judgment stated Mr Burns did not seek damages or an apology and instead asked if Mr Sunol would  not republish statements via his blog that were harmful to homosexual women and men. 

Mr Sunol told the tribunal the offending material had been removed from his website. But Mr Burns alleged Mr Sunol often removes offending statements only to later republish them.