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Rodney Croome Named Tasmanian Australian of the Year

Rodney Croome

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome has been named 2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year.

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At a ceremony in Hobart last night, Croome was honoured for his contribution to the fight for LGBTI equality. He said the award demonstrated a great deal of progress since he and 100 others were arrested for setting up a stall promoting gay rights in a public market 26 years ago.

“It’s a sure sign of how far we have come that a man once arrested for defending LGBTI human rights is now honoured for it”, he said.

“Wherever I go around Australia I meet people who want the growing social acceptance of LGBTI folk to be reflected in marriage laws that celebrate love rather than entrench outdated attitudes. I know that in this award these many Australians will find great encouragement.”

“…because our community’s weave is tight we also do our best to understand, respect and work with those who do not always share these values.

“This is hard and I know I often fail to show the patience I should. But in the quarter century I have advocated for LGBTI equality I have found the only way across the torrents of human conflict is to build a bridge.

“We live in an age when dogmatism is mistaken for principle, shouting for persuasion and empathy for weakness.

“I hope that, at its best, my work, and the work of the other Tasmanian finalists here tonight, shows there is a better way forward.”

Croome is now in the running for 2015 Australian of the Year, which will be announced on January 25th next year. Seven other state and territory representatives will also be in the running.

 

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