Gay business targeted in Gympie
A vandal has defaced a shop window with gay slurs in the main street of Gympie, Queensland.
According to Ben Wood and Neville Sauer, owners of local café Nibbles and Bites, a man wrote 'GAY FY2' on the front of their window in Mary Street on February 19.
Security footage of a person Wood describes as a local businessman apparently in the act of vandalising the window has been delivered to Gympie police.
Police have charged the man with wilful damage, which carries a maximum penalty of $500.
Police would not reveal the man's identity.
Wood posted on his Facebook site that the “graffiti has caused a great amount of loss to our business and spread like wildfire around the town”.
“The feedback from friends who heard others talking about it was not nice,” Wood said.
“Things like 'what do they expect, I'm surprised that it didn't happen earlier' and the such.
“Nev and I, although [we] are openly gay, in Gympie we conduct our business in a manner that is professional and don’t publicly show or display our affection so as not to rub it in people's faces here.
“We have lost customers over this that were not aware that we were a couple and thought we were just friends. We don't need to display it, but when asked we won't deny that we are gay.”
Mayor Ron Dyne of Gympie Regional Council told QP: "I am disappointed to hear of this incident. Gympie Regional Council supports all businesses within its township and does not condone this behaviour."
This is not the first time gay residents of Gympie have spoken out.
Last year, the founder of Gympie gun shop Owen Guns failed in an appeal to the High Court on constitutional grounds after a tribunal fined him for inciting hatred against homosexuals.
In 2008, Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Tribunal found that gun enthusiast Ron Owen had overstepped the bounds under the state's vilification laws when he appeared in a car with the bumper sticker: ‘Gay Rights? Under God's law the only rights gays have is the right to die.’