40 Years Since Decriminalisation of Homosexuality Not a Time to Rest on Our Laurels

This week marks the 40th Anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in South Australia. Greens Gender & Sexuality spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC is calling on the South Australian Government to lead the way on equality for the LGBTIQ community.

“Forty years ago South Australia led the nation when we became the first state to decriminalise homosexuality,” Ms Franks said.

“While 40 years ago marked the passage of this Bill under the Dunstan Government, I acknowledge all those who championed this important change to our laws, starting with Liberal member, Murray Hill, before the Labor Government finally embraced equality.

“Sadly, leading the nation in ensuring equality for the LGBTIQ community is something that this Government is failing to do.

“It’s time for the Government to bring on a vote for state marriage equality that allows all members to vote with their conscience, it’s time for us to recognise same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and it’s time to remove the archaic ‘forced divorce’ provisions required by the current Sexual Reassignment Act.

“The outdated ‘gay panic’ defence – which effectively suggests that an unwanted non-violent sexual advance from one man to another man could result in the downgrading of a murder charge on the ground of provocation – must also go.

“At this momentous time, I call on all members of the South Australian Parliament not to rest on our laurels; instead we must continue working until we have true equality for the LGBTIQ community.

“There is an opportunity for South Australia to lead the way again – let’s take it.”

Tammy Franks MLC wrote a submission to the Premier’s Law Reform Institute (SALRI) LGBTIQ review earlier this year calling for the Government to address the following:

–          Same-sex marriage for qualifying consenting adult couples;

–          Recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions;

–          Removal of ‘forced divorce’ provisions required by the current Sexual Reassignment Act;

–          Provision for couples married in other jurisdictions to divorce

–          Historical conviction expungement

–          Equal Opportunity law reform

–          Same-sex parenting amendments

–          Removal of ‘gay panic’ common law provocation defence;

–          Repeal of the outdated Sexual Reassignment Act 1988.

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