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Airline boss gets pied in the face over same-sex marriage support

By Ross Semple

An Australian businessman is pressing charges against a man who threw a pie in his face in protest over his support of marriage equality.

Alan Joyce, the CEO of Australian airline Qantas, was giving a speech at a function in Perth when a man crossed the stage and pelted Joyce in the face with a pie, reports ABC News. The pie was lemon meringue, in case you were wondering.

The man was later named as 67-year-old former farmer Tony Overheu, who opposes Joyce’s public support of LGBT+ issues including marriage equality. Joyce told the press that he intends to prosecute Overheu over the incident. “The police are continuing their investigation and my intention is to send a message that this type of behaviour isn’t acceptable and that I will have every intention of pressing charges,” he said.

Joyce added that the incident will not stop him from speaking out about his belief in marriage equality. “I have every intention to continue to be vocal on those social and community issues,” he said. “It’s important for our shareholders, our employees, and our customers. It’s called good corporate social responsibility.

“I’m a big believer in the great Australian expression a fair government it’s all about giving people equality.”

He added: “Qantas has always spoken up on gender issues, on LGBTI issues, on Indigenous issues and we will continue to do so and no attempt at bullying us into suppressing our voice will work.”

Mr Overheu has since apologised for the incident, though Joyce contends that he’s “not sure there’s any regret at the issue that has occurred.”

Accusing public figures like Mr Joyce of trying to “bulldoze” middle Australia over the issue of marriage equality, Overheu said: “From my reading, it would appear that Alan Joyce is very much part of a network trying to subvert the federal parliamentary process around the issue of marriage equality.”

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