Drag queens fail to prove vilification in Queensland tribunal

A dispute over a blog post about 'Drag Queen Story Time' has been resolved in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Drag queens fail to prove vilification in Queensland tribunal
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Two Drag Queens have failed to prove they were vilified by a blog post that suggested they were inappropriate role models for children.

Drag queens Johnny Valkyrie and Dwayne Hill took Lyle Shelton to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal after being offended by blog posts and a video podcast in November 2020.

Shelton had written about a children’s holiday event called ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ held at the Brisbane City Council Library on January 12, 2020.

Valkyrie, appearing as drag queen “Queeny” along with Hill appearing as “Diamond”, performed for around 20 children aged two to eight years old.

Near the end of the performance a group of university students protested the event, yelling “drag queens are not for kids”.

The duo complained Shelton had vilified them as individuals and had vilified drag queens as a group.

But Tribunal member Jeremy Gordon ruled that the blog posts had not portrayed the men as child abusers or as podophiles.

He also ruled that the blog posts had not vilified drag queens generally.

“There is a difficulty in that, for there to be a contravention of section 124A the incitement to hatred or serious contempt would need to be on the ground of the sexuality or gender identity of drag queens,” he wrote.

“On the evidence I have heard and seen, some drag queens are transgender persons and some are persons with homosexual sexual orientation, but a substantial proportion of drag queens are neither.”

Shelton, a former leader of the Australian Christian Lobby and the current director of the Family First political party, told the tribunal he had been targeted by activists.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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