Community to mark historic milestones, pay tribute to a hero
The Pride History Group, Inner City Legal Centre, ACON and the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) will this week join forces to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the recent passage of a bill ending the gay panic defence.
“The 30th anniversary provides us with a chance to not only celebrate the freedom to love, but to recognise the sacrifices made by previous generations, including people who were charged or imprisoned for what were then considered offences,” GLRL convenor Justin Koonin told SX.
Koonin drew attention to the societal changes that have taken place in the past three decades, and suggested the fact we could celebrate this anniversary was a marker of just how far LGBTI rights had progressed.
“But many challenges, in terms of social attitudes and legislative barriers, remain, so it's important we persevere in the struggle for equality,” Koonin said.
The event will also pay homage to gay rights advocate Lex Watson, who passed away earlier this month.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the event, to be held on Friday, May 30, at NSW Parliament House, will be a fitting tribute to a trailblazer who helped pave the way for LGBTI rights and equality.
“The recent passing of HIV and LGBTI rights activist Lex Watson was the catalyst for this opportunity to reflect on the contributions of the people and organisations who have fostered this extraordinary change, and to recognise the debt we owe them for the freedoms and benefits that LGBTI people and communities in NSW enjoy today,” Parkhill said.
The event, which runs from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, is free but places are limited.
Book your place at eventbrite.com.au.
IMAGE: Lex Watson at a protest by Sydney Gay Liberation and CAMP outside the ABC TV offices against the cancelling of a This Day Tonight report on gay liberation on July 11, 1972. Photo by John Storey/Courtesy Pride History Group.