Bernard Gaynor wins landmark case against defence force
Former Katter Party candidate and ex-soldier Bernard Gaynor has won a landmark court case against the Australian Defence Force (ADF) after making allegedly homophobic comments regarding Defence Force personnel marching in Mardi Gras.
Gaynor, who served in Iraq, was discharged by the ADF for saying its members should not be able to march in Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in uniform.
In March of 2013 Gaynor had his commission with the Army Reserve terminated by (then) Defence Force General David Hurley, after sending out press releases protesting the ADF participating in Mardi Gras in uniform. In the press release Gaynor suggested the army was discriminating against Christians and described Mardi Gras as morally decadent.
Gaynor wrote: “[The army is] 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.”
Gaynor was also disendorsed from the Katter Party following the comments.
Gaynor appealed his dismissal from the ADF and called for his Army Reserve commission to be reinstated.
In this week’s ruling, Federal Court judge John Buchanan has found in his favour and said Gaynor was sacked for “publication of his private views about political matters”.