Australian Soldiers Dodge Punishment Following Homophobic Slurs on Facebook

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By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
December 7, 2011|5:00 pm

Australian soldiers have avoided punishment after actively participating in a homophobic Facebook group.

The group's creator, former soldier Marcus Andrew Georgiou, avoided jail after threatening another soldier he suspected was gay.

The other group members also escaped punishment, despite deliberately humiliating members of the Australian Defense Force they too suspected were gay.

Instead in a letter, the ADF advised the group soldiers not to befriend those who may take offense to their actions, according to age.com.au.

A Defense spokesman said the behavior was ''unacceptable'' and ''repugnant'', but that the postings were not “vilification.”

Critics have accused the soldiers of creating the Facebook page to simply humiliate and discriminate against homosexual members of the ADF.

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It is believed that derogatory remarks were frequently thrown around, including ''pillow biters'' and ''bum bandits''.

Georgiou's threat was taken seriously by law enforcement and although he was officially charged, a magistrate sympathized with his past.

The courts suggested that as a result of Georgiou's traumatic war experiences, he was led to behave inappropriately and found no need to place him in jail.

John Davey, A lawyer for Georgiou's victim, is outraged and suggested the ADF failed to promote equality when dealing with gay rights issues.

''The Army's inaction on the (Facebook) issue is really the tip of the iceberg about their general double standards and the permissibility of this sort of extreme speech and action against gay and lesbian people in the armed forces,'' Davey said.

He went on to explain, ''the reality is that the object of that Website was to create fear and intimidation against gay and lesbian people in the Defense Force."

 

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