Fri Apr 30, 2004
d) Family, relationships and marriage
The names of hope
This address was given to the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Orgnaisation of Business Enterprise at the Melbourne Town Hall on April 30th 2004.Tomorrow is May Day, the day we traditionally celebrate, freedom, awakening and new life.
Itís an anniversary with added significance for many Tasmanians and many LGBT Australians because it was the day in 1997 when the Tasmanian Upper House finally agreed to decriminalise gay sex without any qualifications or caveats, bringing to a successful end a decade long struggle for freedom and equality which had convulsed Tasmania, shaken the nation and reached around the world.
The nation-wide movement to repeal laws criminalising homosexuality which had begun in South Australia 30 years before had had itís final and most difficult victory. Tasmania, meanwhile, was sending a deliberate message to the world that it had forsaken its closed and repressive attitudes to minorities and had transformed itself into a new tolerant and inclusive society.
But for those of us at the centre of the gay law reform debate May 1st is symbolic of something greater.
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