From today’s Weekend Australian, p.7:
Soldier reinstated after gay criticism
A former soldier who was discharged form the Australian Defence Force for saying members should not be able to march in Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in uniform has won a landmark court case against his dismissal.
Bernard Gaynor, who served in Iraq with the ADF, had his commission terminated last year by former Defence Force chief General David Hurley after making controversial comments about gay men and lesbians.
In March 2013, Mr Gaynor sent out press releases protesting against ADF soldiers marching in the mardi gras in uniform, calling it a political statement, saying the army was “happy to accommodate the views of gay members but is actively discriminatory against Christian members who make public comments about their faith”.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Gaynor had been trying to focus on a political career, joining Katter’s Australian Party, but was disendorsed as a candidate after making the comments.
He appealed against the decision and Federal Court judge John Buchanan found he should have his Army Reserve commission reinstalled. Justice Buchanan found that Mr Gaynor was sacked for “publication of his private views about political matters” in breach of the implied right of political communication.
Mr Gaynor thanked “normal Australians who helped fund my case”, and said the court had “preserved free speech”.
Thank heavens for the courts’ recognition of the right to freedom of political communication. This right is our only bulwark against the bullying of those who take control of society’s value-system.