Andrew Barr May Become Australia’s First Out Territory Leader

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The Australian Capital Territory’s Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr is poised to become the country’s first openly gay state or territory leader since Katy Gallagher today resigned as ACT Chief Minister.

Gallagher has announced she will be running for the Senate, making Barr, as the ACT’s Deputy Chief Minister, a strong possibility to become her successor.

Barr has been an advocate of marriage equality in the ACT and joined his partner Anthony Toms in a civil union in 2009.

In 2011 he lobbied within the Labor Party for a stronger stance backing the issue, arguing that the legalisation of same sex marriage would be consistent with Labor’s emphasis on equality and human rights.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Ivan Hinton-Teoh said in a statement that he felt Barr’s success is indicative of the ACT’s support for and acceptance of LGBTIQ Australians.

“It reflects the enormous amount of broad support that Canberrans have for diversity so I am delighted that the ACT will be the first jurisdiction to have an openly gay political leader,” he said.

“It is a beautiful reflection of the unique nature of our community and I think it shows younger Australians that sexuality is no longer an issue when it comes to being able to participate fully in political life.”

Sophie Joske

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