Lyle Shelton wins discrimination case

A Queensland tribunal has delivered an extraordinary victory for freedom of speech and the protection of children in Australia.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal handed down its decision in the case brought against Lyle Shelton by two drag queens, finding that Lyle’s blogs criticising drag queen story time for children at a local public library “did not, and do not amount to vilification” of the two drag queens.

This is a watershed moment for freedom of speech in Australia. 

Lyle was represented by the Human Rights Law Alliance during his appearance before the Tribunal.

The complaints related to blog posts and video appearances by Lyle in which he criticised ‘drag queen story time’, an event scheduled for children at a Brisbane library in January 2020.

Lyle’s blogs and video appearances, which were not derogatory or insulting, included facts about the two drag queens, as well as his views that children need to be protected from sexualised role models.

He stated his opinion that children should not be exposed to the promotion of gender confusion.

The complainants had alleged that Lyle had incited “hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of” the drag queens on the basis of their sexuality and gender identity.

The Tribunal disagreed.

This is an important win for freedom of speech, especially as it regards significant issues of the protection of children and gender ideology. The basic freedom to discuss these matters should be protected as a matter of public interest.

The ruling also exposes the flawed nature of discrimination laws and exposes a vilification complaints process which is itself a form of punishment. The first complaints were filed against Lyle in January 2020, with the decision handed down some three and half years later on August 10, 2023.