Qantas boss says he won’t be silenced despite pie protest

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SYDNEY: Qantas chief Alan Joyce, who was hit in the face by a pie in a protest against gay marriage in Australia, said Wednesday he would not be silenced on important social issues. Joyce, a staunch supporter of equal rights, said he plans to bring charges against his attacker. The airline chief was targeted on Tuesday while addressing a business breakfast in Perth, when a man wearing a suit walked on stage and smothered a lemon meringue pie over the stunned Irishman. He was named by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as 67-year-old former farmer Tony Overheu, a devout Christian opposed to same-sex marriage. “Alan Joyce is a very active individual in this process (towards marriage equality) and in that context he was appropriate (to target),” Overheu told the broadcaster. “I’ve never done that sort of thing, I’m a law-abiding person but I think this is part of inevitable pushback. “When the community is grumpy, figures who are overstepping the line have got to anticipate there will be pushback in some shape or form. The broad community have had a gutful.” In March Joyce, who is gay, was one of 20 chief executives of some of Australia’s largest companies to sign a joint letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in support of marriage equality. It urged the government to “deliver civil marriage equality for every Australian so that our nation can move forward as a more inclusive place to live, work and play”.

AFP

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