The CEO of Australia’s national airline was targeted with a pie in the face because he’s spoken out in support of same-sex marriage.
On Tuesday, Alan Joyce, the head of Qantas, was in the midst of a business breakfast speech in Perth when a man walked onto the stage and shoved a pie into the shocked executive’s face.
The incident was captured on camera and broadcast around the world. The attacker was briefly detained and later identified as 67-year-old pensioner and former farmer Tony Overheu.
Overheu told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that his motive was because “Alan Joyce is a very active individual in this process [towards marriage equality] and in that context he was appropriate [to target]”.
He added that, “I’ve never done that sort of thing, I’m a law-abiding person, but I think this is part of inevitable pushback.”
Joyce, who is among a number of business leaders who’ve publicly backed marriage equality, said that he will press assault charges against Overheu.
He also confirmed in a statement that he will not stop speaking out on social issues like same-sex marriage. “My opinion on this has not changed,” he said.
“We’ll continue to speak about important social issues including indigenous reconciliation, gender diversity and marriage equality, because it’s the right thing to do.”
While numerous polls have shown that a majority of Australians support marriage equality, it still remains out of reach for same-sex couples.
The government remains intent on holding a referendum on the issue, despite widespread criticism that it will be an expensive waste of time that will result in a divisive campaign that could harm the LGBT community.