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Paxter

Aussie Thread: Democracy Sausage

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Posted (edited)

Gofundme claims the campaign is a breach of their terms of service, in that they don't support any campaigns that defend or promote LGBTIQ discrimination (or racial, religious etc discrimination).

Of course, Folau's termination wasn't about freedom of speech or freedom of religion, it was about breach of contract regarding player conduct. But also, Folau's legal proceedings are about wrongful termination not about defending his right to be homophobic or defending against religious discrimination.

So really the public (or perhaps media) discourse on this whole thing is twisting the narrative to keep people in a lather about freedom and discrimination, when it should be a simple matter of whether he breached his contractual obligations, and if so what recourse RA had in regards to such a breach. I'm not sure RA has a watertight contract case, but I also don't want the issue sidetracked by the emotions raised on both sides.

It may end up being an interesting test case for how much an employer can limit an employees freedom of speech when not explicitly representing the organisation. There's stories of people being terminated by things they post on social media that have no direct connection to their employer, and if Folau wins the case then it could create significant precedent for the rights of employees in respect of the public display of their private lives. But by the same token an organisation like RA can say that the only reason Folau has profile is because Rugby made him famous. So even if he is speaking in a private capacity he only has a substantial audience (and influence) because of his association with Rugby. So can RA claim some ownership of his public life outside of direct representation wrt Rugby? Seems like a complicated and important matter to unravel.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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I think GoFundMe's decision only emboldens Folau's supporters who will see this as more persecution and more restrictions on his freedom of speech.

It would be interesting to know if GoFundMe has policies about people raising for legal funds. Does it allow someone to raise funds to defend criminal or civil charges? If so, I don't see how they could shut Folau's fund down. You'd have to shut down anyone asking for funds to defend a charge of bribery, murder, etc.

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2 hours ago, Jeor said:

It would be interesting to know if GoFundMe has policies about people raising for legal funds. Does it allow someone to raise funds to defend criminal or civil charges? If so, I don't see how they could shut Folau's fund down. You'd have to shut down anyone asking for funds to defend a charge of bribery, murder, etc.

As I said, this is purely a PR move on their part. They don't want to be associated with a high profile case widely perceived to be anti-LGBT, and are probably banking on it not being legally challenged. (if it even can be?)

Won't change a thing as far as the case goes.

We've already established you can be fired for a tweet asking people to think about Palestinians on Anzac day, so I have limited sympathy with Folau tbh.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jeor said:

I think GoFundMe's decision only emboldens Folau's supporters who will see this as more persecution and more restrictions on his freedom of speech.

Surely GFM has as much right to make decisions about its business on LGBT-friendly grounds as Rugby Australia does? The fact is that nearly every decent-sized business in Australia has come to its senses and no longer tolerates homophobia or people who support it. Even some Catholic schools (who are allowed to sack teachers for coming out) stop short of telling their gay students that they will go to hell. The only question to my mind is why GFM let him start the crowdfunding in the first place (much like I don't understand why RA re-signed Folau knowing his beliefs about LGBT people).

On Bernardi: what I should have said is that the Liberals surely won't put him anywhere near the top of the ticket in SA again. In the meantime they will have him back just for the numbers. I'm sure their preference will be for him to resign, creating a casual vacancy.

Edited by Paxter

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7 hours ago, Jeor said:

I think GoFundMe's decision only emboldens Folau's supporters who will see this as more persecution and more restrictions on his freedom of speech.

It would be interesting to know if GoFundMe has policies about people raising for legal funds. Does it allow someone to raise funds to defend criminal or civil charges? If so, I don't see how they could shut Folau's fund down. You'd have to shut down anyone asking for funds to defend a charge of bribery, murder, etc.

It does, which you can find here.

9 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

It may end up being an interesting test case for how much an employer can limit an employees freedom of speech when not explicitly representing the organisation.

That won't get very far.  As recently as April the High Court reconsidered the implied right to freedom of political communication in Australia.  It restated the interpretations of the past that it operates to restrict the govt from making laws preventing citizens from talking about politics and govt.  Corporations can essentially make up their own rules:  see Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11.

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21 minutes ago, Stubby said:

It does, which you can find here.

That won't get very far.  As recently as April the High Court reconsidered the implied right to freedom of political communication in Australia.  It restated the interpretations of the past that it operates to restrict the govt from making laws preventing citizens from talking about politics and govt.  Corporations can essentially make up their own rules:  see Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11.

Being lazy...were those cases about things employees said on their own private time and not associating with the employer directly?

It is an important point that everyone should know, freedom of speech applies only to govts putting restrictions / punishing people for saying stuff, not at all about private entities putting restrictions on people who wish to associate with the private entity. People claiming Youtube / Facebook / Twitter of violating freedom of speech don't understand that they can freely limit speech all they like, they reason for them not to is to not drive users away, not because of a legal obligation. Still I wonder if there's a reasonableness argument. Is it reasonable for entity X to restrict the speech of person Y under Z circumstances?

Seems if there's already precedent affirming the right of a private entity restricting speech of employees (interestingly govt as an employer has that same right), Folau's only chance is to prove that RA was not clear enough about their demands in terms of his expression of his views on LGBTQI people.

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29 minutes ago, Stubby said:

It does, which you can find here.

That won't get very far.  As recently as April the High Court reconsidered the implied right to freedom of political communication in Australia.  It restated the interpretations of the past that it operates to restrict the govt from making laws preventing citizens from talking about politics and govt.  Corporations can essentially make up their own rules:  see Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11.

It's interesting how limp our Constitution is when it comes to individual rights. Even the implied right to freedom of political communication was a bit of a stretch from the High Court - they had to perform some mental acrobatics to glean that one from the actual text. So we might not have even had that!

It's also worth noting that s116 of the Constitution (the 'freedom of religion' protection) is very narrow. In fact, no law has ever been struck down as a result of s116 in the 100+ years since Federation.

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3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell

Yeah agreed. Folau really hates being told that he freely signed a contract holding himself to a certain code of practice.

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Obviously Folau didn't want to hear that he can't use the prominence he earned by being a famous Rugby player to say intolerant shit and remain a representative rugby player. He can still say all the intolerant shit he likes, he just won't be representing as a famous Rugby player, he will be a famous former Rugby player. If he can still have the community influence he did as a current Rugby player, then more power to him.

A code of conduct doesn't mean you can't say whatever you want, however you want. It means you get to choose between saying whatever you want however you want and continuing your association with the organisation who set the code of conduct. It's his choice as to what he does, full freedom to choose.

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2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Obviously Folau didn't want to hear that he can't use the prominence he earned by being a famous Rugby player to say intolerant shit and remain a representative rugby player. He can still say all the intolerant shit he likes, he just won't be representing as a famous Rugby player, he will be a famous former Rugby player. If he can still have the community influence he did as a current Rugby player, then more power to him.

A code of conduct doesn't mean you can't say whatever you want, however you want. It means you get to choose between saying whatever you want however you want and continuing your association with the organisation who set the code of conduct. It's his choice as to what he does, full freedom to choose.

Please, freedom of Speech=I could say whatever I want with no possible consequence. We’ve become too PC. Ah I miss the days when I could say Jews will not replace us in front of my Jewish employer, and he couldn’t do a damn thing about it. 

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2 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Please, freedom of Speech=I could say whatever I want with no possible consequence. We’ve become too PC.

So you’re not in favour of any defamation laws whatsoever? I could make any false statement about you to your financial or emotional detriment with no consequence?

What about running around an airport yelling “I’m a terrorist”? No consequences again?

You can’t answer “yes” while maintaining the purist position above.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Paxter said:

So you’re not in favour of any defamation laws whatsoever? I could make any false statement about you to your financial or emotional detriment with no consequence?

What about running around an airport yelling “I’m a terrorist”? No consequences again?

You can’t answer “yes” while maintaining the purist position above.

Either my sarcasm detector is broken or yours is.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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26 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Either my sarcasm detector is broken or yours is.

Meh probably. I think being away from Australia for a while now has dialled up my distaste for it. I’m on a bit of a rampage.

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42 minutes ago, Paxter said:

Meh probably. I think being away from Australia for a while now has dialled up my distaste for it. I’m on a bit of a rampage.

You should have more sympathy for it. Sarcasm is a coping mechanism. If everyone was healthy, happy and content with life there'd be no sarcasm. And I'm not saying that sarcastically.

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12 hours ago, Paxter said:

It's also worth noting that s116 of the Constitution (the 'freedom of religion' protection) is very narrow. In fact, no law has ever been struck down as a result of s116 in the 100+ years since Federation.

The High Court even dodged it in Williams (the Chaplains case), when they had a chance to.  Instead they focused on the use of the PM's funding account.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Either my sarcasm detector is broken or yours is.

Nope, I genuinely told my Jewish boss his evil Zionist plans would never succeed straight to his face. I’m kidding lol. Seriously, though the idea of freedom of speech=freedom of consequence is way too pervasive imo. Like, some people genuinely think they are allowed to say whatever, wherever with no cost to themselves. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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5 hours ago, Stubby said:

The High Court even dodged it in Williams (the Chaplains case), when they had a chance to.  Instead they focused on the use of the PM's funding account.  

I'm not surprised the Court tries to dodge these things. I remember Bob Carr had some sort of position where he said that Australia having a Bill of Rights would be a terrible idea because it would place too many things in the hands of unelected judges' interpretations instead of the Parliament. Thankfully we have a pretty non-partisan High Court and it stays that way. You only have to look at America to see what excessively codifying things into law means.

In terms of the actual Folau case, GoFundMe are of course free to make whatever business decision they wish, so I'm not disputing that. I guess they just didn't want any of the publicity. It actually saddens me to see the Australian Christian Lobby going gung-ho for this, because it only increases the perception that Christians are a bunch of old outdated bigots who are fixated very much on gender, sex etc. There are a vast bunch of Christian people who are decent and not fussed that much about this stuff, and more concerned with charity and helping people.

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59 minutes ago, Jeor said:

I'm not surprised the Court tries to dodge these things. I remember Bob Carr had some sort of position where he said that Australia having a Bill of Rights would be a terrible idea because it would place too many things in the hands of unelected judges' interpretations instead of the Parliament. Thankfully we have a pretty non-partisan High Court and it stays that way. You only have to look at America to see what excessively codifying things into law means.

In terms of the actual Folau case, GoFundMe are of course free to make whatever business decision they wish, so I'm not disputing that. I guess they just didn't want any of the publicity. It actually saddens me to see the Australian Christian Lobby going gung-ho for this, because it only increases the perception that Christians are a bunch of old outdated bigots who are fixated very much on gender, sex etc. There are a vast bunch of Christian people who are decent and not fussed that much about this stuff, and more concerned with charity and helping people.

I would argue the decent ones are the ones standing up for their beliefs.

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57 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I would argue the decent ones are the ones standing up for their beliefs.

Yeah, who cares about helping people when you could dehumanize gays, people who’ve had pre-marital sex, Catholics and non-Christians. That’s what truly decent people do. I’m being sarcastic.

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