Lyle Shelton

Lyle Shelton Wins Landmark Free Speech Battle With Drag Queens

22 August 2023

4.2 MINS

A win for Lyle Shelton is a win for all freedom-loving Australians. But the battle still rages for free speech.

Lyle Shelton’s landmark legal battle with two drag queens who accused him of vilification has been dismissed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in a major win for free speech and children’s safety in Australia.

Jeremy Gordon, the QCAT member overseeing the case, ruled on 10 August that Johnny Valkyrie and Dwayne Hill were not sexually vilified by Mr Shelton when he called them “dangerous role models for children” on his blog and during a podcast episode. Mr Gordon dismissed all five charges brought in the case, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr Shelton had critiqued the drag queen duo for their performance in front of 20 children aged between two and eight years old at the Brisbane City Council Library in January 2020.

Drag queens Mr Valkyrie and Mr Hill later brought “hate speech” complaints against Mr Shelton to the Queensland Human Rights Commission, which were referred on to QCAT.

In his written decision last week, Mr Gordon said Mr Shelton had acted “honestly” and in “good faith” in his public commentary about the Drag Queen Story Time event and the two men who had participated in it.

Battles Won and Battles Still Ahead

The case has hung like a cloud over the former leader of the Australian Christian Lobby, who is relieved and delighted with the result.

“This is a big win for the freedom to speak publicly and boldly for the protection of little children from early sexualisation and indoctrination,” Mr Shelton said following the ruling.

However, he has warned that Australians are still extremely vulnerable under the law if they choose to speak up as he did.

“No Australian should ever again be dragged through a three-year legal process costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for engaging in important public debate about the welfare of children,” he said.

“I will continue to campaign for change to Australia’s flawed regime of anti-discrimination and so-called anti-vilification laws,” Mr Shelton added.

Lyle Shelton vs the Rainbow Behemoth

The drag queens were defended by the LGBTI Legal Service, which enjoys hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Queensland taxpayers.

Mr Shelton received support from the Human Rights Law Alliance and was represented by Tony Morris KC and barrister Simon Fisher, who provided much of their work on a pro bono basis.

Even with all the legal help Mr Shelton received, his case still cost in excess of $200,000, an amount he raised with the help of generous donors. And since QCAT is a no-costs jurisdiction, he will not be reimbursed his legal costs in order to refund his donors.

Mr Shelton told his supporters, “without your support and prayers and the professionalism of my legal team, I would not have had a hope”.

However, he has warned that, with a system geared to favour rainbow activists over people with traditional values, the process is the punishment.

“Anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws favour those bringing the complaint,” Mr Shelton noted. “With taxpayer-subsidised legal help available to LGBTIQA+ activists, mainstream Australians are on the back foot.”

In his summary of the ordeal, Mr Shelton wrote, “Most Australians will be shocked to know that the price of freedom of speech is north of $200,000, will cost three years of your life and force you to be subject to hours of cross-examination by a Senior Counsel in a public trial.”

“This is not the Australia I grew up in,” he lamented.

“In a free society debate should be met with debate, not taxpayer-funded legal action designed to silence and punish a fellow citizen,” Mr Shelton also said.

‘Drag Queen’ is Not a Sexuality or Gender Identity: QCAT

Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act makes it illegal to “incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the race, religion, sexuality or gender identity of the person”.

Crucially, in his 76-page decision, Mr Gordon noted that the charge Mr Shelton vilified drag queens did not stand up, in part because drag queens do not constitute a sexuality or gender identity.

“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,” Mr Gordon added in his ruling.

The two drag queens had also accused Mr Shelton of suggesting they were a danger to children, were sex offenders, or were somehow guilty of child abuse or pedophilia. However, Mr Gordon found no evidence Mr Shelton had made such a claim.

More Than One Vindication for Lyle Shelton

The events of recent weeks have vindicated Lyle Shelton legally, but he has been vindicated in more ways than one since taking a public stand in 2017 against the de-gendering of marriage.

Mr Shelton and the Australian Christian Lobby, along with countless allied groups including the Canberra Declaration, warned of the consequences if same sex marriage was legalised following the 2017 postal vote.

In the six short years since, ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ is just one of a host of bizarre and harmful trends that have been pushed from the fringes of society and into the spotlight, all in the name of LGBT “inclusion”.

Puberty blockers, hormone therapy and genital mutilation surgery for children are now normalised and celebrated. Gender pronouns, woke teachers indoctrinating school kids, and Orwellian phrases like “gender assigned at birth” are commonplace, and are increasingly wielded to marginalise the basic facts of biology.

The biggest consequence — as forewarned by Mr Shelton and others — has been the curtailment of free speech, especially for Christians who are bound by Scripture to speak the truth on marriage and gender.

As Mr Shelton has warned, “a legal battle ends, but the war is far from over.”

He has drawn attention to other Australians still facing fire for their stand on sanity, including Binary spokesperson Kirralie Smith, Hobart City Councillor Louise Elliot, women’s app founder Sal Grover, expelled Liberal Moira Deeming, Let Women Speak organiser Angie Jones, academic Holly Lawford-Smith, stood down children’s psychologist Dr Jillian Spencer, former Liberal candidate Katherine Deves and sacked Australian Breastfeeding Association counsellor Jasmine Sussex.

“Politicians must now act to protect what most Australians thought they could take for granted — the freedom to speak freely about gender, women, girls’ and children’s rights,” Mr Shelton said.

Image via HRLA.

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  1. Jim Twelves 22 August 2023 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Kurt, thank you so much for bringing us this this wonderful news. But, at what a cost! For me the key part of your piece was:
    ‘The drag queens were defended by the LGBTI Legal Service, which enjoys hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Queensland taxpayers.’
    How can this be a demonstration of justice and equity? It is the polar opposite, we now live in a society that is is literally a ‘one party state’, fall in line or pay the price for your rebellion.
    What is the hardest thing to stomach in all this is that the majority of Australians still think we live in a justice and free society, how wrong can they be!

  2. Warwick Marsh 22 August 2023 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Needed article!!!!!!!!! Great work Kurt!!!

  3. Cecily Mac Alpine 22 August 2023 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Thank you, Lyle, and congratulations on your victory. It is extraordinary that such action should have been brought against you in the first place. Anyone who has researched the history of “the drag queen” knows that for 200 years such actors have been featured in adult male entertainment and the definition is “a male actor who impersonates low types of women in an exaggerated manner. ” ‘Drag’ means ‘low’. That public libraries should employ such people of whatever ‘gender’ to read stories to children is deplorable. One wonders what sort of literature would they be reading, and are these story times monitored by the librarian? If the drag queens are true to character the material would not be wholesome.

    • Jim Twelves 23 August 2023 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Cecily, thank you, a great insight. And particularly, what stories are being read?

  4. Ian Moncrieff. 22 August 2023 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Thank you Jesus for Lyle’s victory and release from the 3 years of pressure. I rejoice because truth has won out – 1 Cor 13 v 6.

  5. Stephen Brinton 22 August 2023 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Thank you Kurt. Your article illustrates clearly the danger of the government’s proposed Misinformation & Disinformation Bill. Government and the courts will become the arbiters of truth and Orwell’s 1984 will come a step closer.

    • Kurt Mahlburg 25 August 2023 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Stephen. You are right to point out how interrelated these issues are. Praise God the opposition to this bill is so strong.

  6. Stan Beattie 22 August 2023 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I agree with Jim, the worst aspect of this sordid affair is the funding of LGBTI by QLD taxpayers.
    Should we not as Believers in the power and authority of Jesus bind this evil force in Government and rend it powerless.
    This is another example where government is acting against the authority of God and His word in scripture

    • Jim Twelves 23 August 2023 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Stan, amen, amen! It is an outrage against all Australians that we are being taken for a ride down the river by our parliamentarians.

  7. Jim Twelves 24 August 2023 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Kurt, another great interview with Lyle about his trial – ‘McBLOG: Protecting kids from drag queens isn’t ‘vilification’ (Aust)’ brought by Family First Party New Zealand

  8. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 11 September 2023 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Brain-washing the very young to believe this is ‘normal “. I do not find them’funny “, but, men dressed as women, pretending to be women and showing their knobbly knees , deep voices , etc I find ridiculous !

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