A new postcard campaign has been launched at Hobart’s Salamanca Place to mark 20 years since Tasmania became the final place in Australia to decriminalise homosexuality.
The card, addressed to Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, features an illustration by Tasmanian cartoonist, Christopher Downes declaring “The sky didn’t fall in then and it won’t now” – highlighting that decriminalisation in Tasmania was finally achieved after the then Liberal State Government was given a free vote by Premier, Tony Rundle, and calls on Mr Turnbull to allow a free vote for Federal Liberals so marriage equality can pass.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome said “Our new postcard campaign celebrates how far we’ve come since gay men were criminals, but also how far we have to go to ensure full equality for LGBTI people by passing marriage equality.”
“The postcard highlights two key lessons the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Tasmania holds for the current marriage equality debate: gay law reform shouldn’t be a party-political issue and when reform passes the sky won’t fall in,” added Croome.
If the Federal Liberal Party were to allow its members a free vote on marriage equality the reform would quickly pass. Meanwhile, opponents of marriage equality object to marriage equality on the basis of what they call a ‘slippery slope’ of ‘unintended consequences’.
The postcard, produced with generous support from Australian company, Avant Card, will be available in hundreds of cafes and other venues across Australia from this week on.
Postcard creator, Richard Hale, asks marriage equality supporters to take a photo of the card against the sky and to post the photo to social media with the hashtag, #TheSkyWontFallMalcolm before posting the card through conventional post to the Prime Minister. “This will be a great way to highlight the fact that equality is good for everyone and has no downside,” said Hale.
Tasmanian cartoonist Christopher Downes said he is pleased to be able to make this contribution to the marriage equality debate. “My marriage enriches my life more than I can say and I want my gay family members and friends to also have the opportunity to marry the person they love,” said Downes.
Two weeks ago Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman, became the first Liberal leader to apologise to those people convicted under former former anti-gay laws. Tasmania’s state Liberal MPs have had a free vote on all LGBTI issues, including marriage equality, since decriminalisation.
Image: Marriage Equality Postcard (supplied)