An Australian politician has been forced to apologise for a homophobic bumper sticker.
Former Cooloola Shire Councillor Ron Owen displayed the bumper sticker in question - which said "The only rights gays have is to die" - on his vehicle back in 2005. Following a number of complaints, a 10 year court battle then ensued over Owen's refusal to apologise for causing offensive to the LGBT community.
Owen was first found guilty of "inciting hatred" by a court in 2008. However, through a series of appeals the former politician managed to prolong the court battle for a further 6-years.
In a final ruling made last month (December) by a tribunal, Owen was found guilty of inciting hared and finally ordered by the court to make a "genuine and unqualified" apology for the offensive sticker, reports The Gympie Times
"By seeking to convince his constituents of the reasonableness of his views, he is in reality asking them to adopt the same contempt for homosexuals that he feels," said tribunal member Ann Fitzpatrick following her ruling.
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