British Father Charged for Facebook Rant About Shooting Gay People
Paul Gair, a British man recently arrested for posting a violent, homophobic rant to Facebook, was charged and pled guilty this week to sending an "offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing" message. He was fined $662 by the Newcastle Magistrate Court, reports the Gay News Network.
The case revolves around the Newcastle Pride event held in the northern U.K., this July. Gair, a 42-year-old father of three, commented on an article posted to Facebook about the event, saying "If your parents were faggots, you horrible gay c***s wouldn't of [sic] been born! Should be lined up and machine gunned, vile disgusting c***s!"
On another post, he commented that gay people should be "slaughtered."
When Northern Pride organizers became aware of the post, they feared for the safety of attendees and contacted authorities, reports the Chronicle.
"It is very worrying when you hear people could be thinking of coming down and killing gays," said Northern Pride chair Mark Nichols during a victim impact statement. "If the post was about race or religion there would have been an uproar."
"I think everybody in court is probably disgusted by your behavior. You have lost your good name forever," chair of the bench Eileen Burt told Gair, according to the Chronicle. "I think for me this highlights the dangers of social media because people forget how many read and see comments on there."
Despite expressing remorse to the court and Northern Pride, Gair maintains that his words were not homophobic, and that he was merely having a "bad day."