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Perth photographer in values dilemma

One of Australia’s leading young wedding photographers, Jason Tey, is to be hauled up before the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal accused of discriminating against a gay couple, after he refused to admit the alleged discrimination following a hearing at the Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commission.


According to a story in The Weekend Australian (Nov 17-18), Jason Tey agreed to photograph the children of the couple, but also revealed he had a ‘conflict of belief’ on the issue of same sex marriage relating to his religion, and that the couple might be more comfortable hiring someone else. He is a loud and proud Christian – the About Us section on his website leads with the headline: Hello I’m Jason Tey. A Christian photographer based in Perth, Australia.

The website also notes that he was named as one of the Top 150 international wedding photographers in 2016; was in the Top 30 in the International Wedding Photographer Awards in 2016 and 2017; and is a member of Fearless Photographers, an elite international photographers’ group focused on edgy, creative wedding photography.

At the Equal Opportunity Commission conciliation hearing, the complainant demanded an admission of discrimination from Jason Tey along with a written apology which was also to be published for two months on the homepage of his website and all his social media pages.

It would appear he did not agree to these demands, as his website isn’t running any apologies, and the matter has escalated to a mediation hearing with lawyers at the Administrative Tribunal, set down for December 7.

‘Conciliation officers work together with the parties to work out an outcome. If not, the file goes to the Commissioner, who might decide to dismiss the matter, or refer it to the State Administrative Tribunal. Or the Commissioner might refer it to the SAT on request of the complainant,’ an Equal Opportunity Commission spokesperson told Inside Imaging. She would not indicate whether this reference for legal mediation came direct from the Commissioner or via a request from Jason Tey’s accuser.

‘I don’t believe that I have discriminated in any way, neither offered unfavourable treatment. I merely stated that I have a contrary view due to my Christian faith,’ he told The Weekend Australian.

‘This felt almost like a kick in the guts because I work so hard for my business to be a positive influence and to provide a living for my family.’

Inside Imaging contacted Jason Tey for further details, but he did not want to provide comment for publication, except to confirm the original story in The Australian was ‘succinct and accurate’.

‘I believe all will be revealed in due course anyway,’ he wrote.

It’s hoped Imaging Insider will be able to provide more details following the December 7 Administrative Tribunal hearing.

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  1. Chris Chris November 23, 2018

    I hope they sue his sorry rear end. He wasn’t asked to photograph a wedding but children. He needs to read the New Testament regarding judgement & tolerance.

    • William McNeany William McNeany November 23, 2018

      What bits of the New Testament do you find have helped you most in your journey towards tolerance, Chris?

    • Stephen Stephen December 9, 2018

      Don’t purport to use the key Christian book to attack a Christian, when you clearly aren’t one, and clearly haven’t read much of it. Jesus taught that certain behaviours are sins, including sexual relationships other than those between a man and a woman to whom he is married, and teaches his followers to “do the same as he did”. That’s the part that justifies a Christian telling homosexuals their actions are wrong. Get it now? If you go to a Muslim butcher and ask for pork, expect to get told he doesn’t believe its right to eat pork. Homosexuals aren’t the only ones with rights. The rest of us have the right to hold, and express, beliefs. Sometimes rights clash. Get over it, there are different opinions out there. The homosexuals can go to another photographer, just like the guy that wants pork will go to another butcher.

  2. Jorge Pedreira Jorge Pedreira November 24, 2018

    I’m not Australian, but if at first he accepted to photograph the children and later he mentions a ‘conflict of belief’, there is something definitely wrong.

    • Joe Terminello Joe Terminello December 10, 2018

      Jason did not change his mind about photographing the children. He merely informed them that he (Jason) had a differing view about same sex marriage and, as I read it, he stated this At The Same Time as he suggested that the couple might feel more comfortable with a photographer who shares their views.
      I see nothing discriminatory in this.
      If they are truly at ease with their views why are they concerned about what others believe.

  3. Ksenia Ksenia December 7, 2018

    I believe he has a right to reject a service based on his beliefs. Those people deliberately wanted to created a conflict, knowing he was a Christian. Plus he agreed to photograph, but stated his beliefs. So not sure why someone would say that he needs to be sued. It is not a service that cannot be rejected, like first aid, etc.

    • Kate Kate January 11, 2019

      He is not allowed to refuse service, that’s the point of equal opportunity legislation. You can’t just refuse service to a Muslim children or a Jewish family why can. Saying I’ll take the photos but I think you would be better off going elsewhere is still not good enough.

  4. Helen White Helen White December 8, 2018

    To Jason Tey Photography
    Dear Jason,
    You should not have to defend yourself just by doing your job. This saga is a setup to discredit you and your business. These poor deluded homosexual individuals have an agenda that defies normal intellect. These poor people are living a life outside the Natural Law.
    Stick to your Christian beliefs, I will be praying for you and your lovely family.
    God Bless

  5. Joe Lam Joe Lam December 9, 2018

    I agree with Ksenia. Good on you. Jesus told his disciples over 2000 years ago, “As they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you”. Christians were thrown to the lions and burnt as torches in the royal garden by orders of Roman Emperors like Nero and others for refusing to deny Christ and his teachings. Therefore, true Christians will never surrender their lives to the world but to Christ alone.

  6. Jane Doer Jane Doer January 24, 2019

    These trouble makers have followed the SJW playbook by setting up this poor fellow using disgraceful tactics. If they’re so comfortable with their [redacted by editor for being offensive], why are they persecuting the photographer, why do they even care what he thinks? All the Anti-Discrmination action in the world won’t get him to change him values and virtues. I just hope this homosexual couple will realize how disgracefully they have behaved and put this guy’s livelihood on the line. We think it’s really sad the SJW crowd resort to these presecution tactics. They have no moral or ethical boundaries.

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