In 2013, Sydney anti-discrimination campaigner Garry Burns filed a complaint with the President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board ( ADB ) alleging comments published by then Katter's Australia Party candidate Tess Corbett—comparing gays to pedophiles—breached the anti-vilification provisions of the state's Anti-Discrimination Act.
The case was referred to Tribunal (NCAT). TheTribunal substantiated Mr Burns' application and orders were made by the Tribunal for Ms Corbett to apologise in writing to Mr Burns and publish an apology to the gay community in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Tess Corbett did not comply and Mr Burns unsuccessfully commenced proceedings in the NSW Supreme Courts, to get Ms Corbett to comply with the orders.
Mr Burns appealed to the High Court of Australia, which dismissed his appeal and ordered him to pay the respondent's costs. He now has a legal bill of $81,644.70 which he cannot pay.
Mr Burns said: “I initiated these legal proceedings against Ms Corbett in the public interest, and not for any personal monetary gain, to protect homosexuals from public acts of unlawful homosexuality vilification under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 ( NSW ) and now I find myself in this dire position.
"If 82, 000 people donated $1, I could easily raise the funds required to pay those costs.
"I don’t want to be left destitute because I stood up in defence of homosexuals and fought the good fight all the way to the High Court of Australia.
"I am not only asking LGBTI Australians to help but all those Australians who support a fair and decent Australian in 2019 to donate what they can.
"Thank you for any help you can give."