Tasmania marks 25 years since decriminalisation of homosexuality

Tasmania marked the 25th anniversary of the state’s decriminalisation of homosexuality with a special event at Government House.

The event was organised by Out Tennis and hosted by the Governor, Hon Barbara Baker AC.

Governor Baker said the passage of the laws in 1997 was a significant moment for Tasmania.

“On Thursday 1 May 1997 our State flicked the switch from Australia’s most oppressive anti-gay law to anti-discrimination legislation that is the most comprehensive in the nation and provides the strongest protections for LGBTIQ+ people.”

Equality Tasmania President, Rodney Croome reflected on the anniversary saying the state had changed dramatically over the following years.

“It’s true that Tasmania has undergone a remarkable transformation. Tasmania was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality and the only state to criminalise cross-dressing. But now we have the best discrimination, relationship and gender recognition laws in Australia.” Croome said.

Rodney Croome was at the forefront of bringing about changes to the laws in Tasmania, and he noted that in the years that followed Tasmania had voted in favour of marriage equality, yet there was still more work to be done.

Croome said the state still needed “Legislation against conversion practices, against non-consenting medical interventions on intersex children, for inclusive schools, for better health services, and for dignity, equality and acceptance.”

A second event commemorating the anniversary will be held at Parliament House on Wednesday May 4th from 6pm to 7.30pm. At that event Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, will launch the report from the first Tasmanian Government survey of the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community.

OIP Staff, Image:  Hendry Lukman convenor of Out Tennis, Rodney Croome, Governor Baker, her husband Prof Don Chalmers, and Out Tennis member, Brendan Oliver-Ewen.

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