Tasmania gets its own dedicated LGBTI memorial 30 years after mass arrests

It marks 30 years since the mass arrests of gay rights activists

The last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality, Tasmania, has just unveiled a memorial to LGBTI equality.

A large crowd of people watched the Tasmanian Speaker of the Lower House, Sue Hickey unveil the memorial.

The new public seat memorial sit on the lawns of the Tasmanian Parliament. The memorial featuers a plaque dedicated to the state’s progress towards LGBTI equality.

It’s unveiling marked the 30 year anniversary of the mass arrests of gay rights protesters in 1988.

‘We gathered at Parliament House to celebrate the transformation of Tasmania from the state with the worst laws and attitudes about LGBTI people to the state with some of the best,’ said long-time Tasmanian advocate, Rodney Croome.

Equality Tasmania
During the celebration the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group unveiled a new name and logo. Formed in 1988 the Group has pioneered many of the legal and cultural changes in the state. It will now be known as Equality Tasmania to recognize diversity within the LGBTI community.

The group’s new logo features four astericks. Tasmanian colonial officials used that symbol to refer to convicts who were in same-sex relationships or didn’t conform to traditional gender roles.

‘Tasmania was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality but went on to enact the nation’s best discrimination and relationship laws, and take the lead on marriage equality,’ Croome said.

‘This profound change is something all Tasmanians can be proud of and which LGBTI people across the nation can be inspired by.

‘I hope the seat will be a place where people can sit and reflect on how far LGBTI people and Tasmania have moved towards inclusion and equality, and how far we have yet to go.’

by Shannon Power
Source – Gay Star News