Homophobic graffiti sprayed in Tasmanian town

Just a day after the unveiling of a new bench in Parliament Gardens in Hobart to commemorate Tasmania’s progress on LGBTI human rights, anti-lesbian graffiti has appeared in the NW Coast town of Penguin.

The phrase “No lesbians in Penguin” was spray-painted in large black letters across the retaining wall between the beach and the town.

Equality Tasmanian spokesperson, Rodney Croome said the incident was a reminder that homophobia still existed in the state.

“This graffiti is a reminder that, despite Tasmania’s progress on LGBTI human rights, there are still people who harbour hatred and resentment towards us.”

Croome said it was imperative that local community leaders stood up and condemned the graffiti.

“I call on our political and civic leaders to condemn this graffiti in the same they would if it was against an ethnic or religious minority.”

“Last year’s postal survey showed that people who still hold these kinds of prejudices are in the minority and do not represent mainstream Tasmania or the NW Coast.”

“But we must always be ready to call out attitudes that threaten to tear lives, families and communities apart.”

“LGBTI people have always been a part of the Penguin community and no amount of foolish, cowardly graffiti changes that fact.”

The Central Coast Council, that includes Penguin, recently voted for a motion in support of the LGBTI community. The motion was proposed by Cr Amanda Diprose.

Councillor Diprose told local newspaper The Advocate that people who painted such messages were living in the past.

I feel sorry for whoever it was (that painted the graffiti),” Cr Diprose said.

“They are the ones with the issues and I hope they get some help to deal with them.

“I hope they’re able to come to terms with living in the future rather than in past.”

Earlier this month a same-sex couple, Sally Marks and Trish Bock, married in the Ulverstone Civic Centre, highlighting how far the NW Coast has come since the late 1980s when it was the site of angry anti-LGBTI rallies.

Source: Media Release

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