Gaynor v gays: Homophobic Aussie reservist wins case against dismissal

Bernard Gaynor. © Facebook
The sacked Australian army reservist Bernard Gaynor, who was dismissed over his anti-gay comments, has won a case against his firing in a Federal Court.

Gaynor was sacked from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in 2013 after a press release in which he condemned the ADF’s participation in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations.

"Defence gave approval for its proud uniform to be paraded through the streets of Sydney during the Mardi Gras, sharing the road with pimps, prostitutes and purveyors of moral decadence," Gaynor’s press release read.

"The supposedly apolitical ADF is now marching to the beat of a very political tune, drummed up by those who demand gay marriage and take pleasure in ridiculing Christianity. Defence is bending over at every opportunity to help gay members but has hauled me over the coals for expressing my religious and political beliefs," Gaynor added.

Gaynor also remarked on social media that he didn’t want homosexual people to teach his kids.

"I wouldn't let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it," a tweet from Gaynor read.

His comments also forced him to stand down as a Queensland Senate nominee from the Katter Party, with his party membership suspended.

Initially, his anti-gay comments were regarded as contrary to the rules of the military, reflected in the prohibition to insult any group basing on personal attributes including race, religion or gender.

On Friday, though, Federal Court Judge John Buchanan ruled that the remarks were made in Gaynor’s personal, not military, capacity: at the time of the comments, Gaynor was an army reservist, not on active duty. Thus, they were legal according to the constitutional right for freedom of political communication.

"I conclude that the applicant's commission was terminated because of the publication of his private views about political matters. The fact that those publications were at variance with ADF or government policy... does not appear to me to be sufficiently connected with any legitimate legislative aim to displace the freedom of political communication implied in the constitution," the Judge said in his statement, as quoted by ABC news.

Following the ruling, Australians expressed their rage on Twitter, with some saying that a person with his attitudes shouldn’t be allowed to represent any country.