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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