Date: Tue, 22 Apr 97 11:00:42 CDT
Subject: TASMANIA'S ANTI-GAY LAWS: TIME FOR CHANGE
Tasmania's Anti-Gay Laws: Time for Change
From Amesty International
15 April 1997
Amnesty International is calling on the Tasmanian Upper House to rid
Australia of the draconian law which allows for imprisonment for up to 25
years for one's sexual activity in private.
Current Tasmanian law stipulates that homosexual sex between consenting
male adults in private is punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment. The
Lower House has recently moved to repeal the anti-gay law and it is now in
the hands of members of the Upper House to endorse the Government's bill.
The right not to be persecuted for homosexuality is a most basic human
right which can no longer be denied by the Tasmanian government. The Upper
House should see this as an opportunity to bring Tasmania's laws in line
with Australia's aspirations to be a leading promoter of human rights.
Speaking in Hobart today, Tim Goodwin, Amnesty International's National
Campaign Coordinator said: "Tasmania must act now to repeal the laws which
discriminate against gay men solely on the grounds of sexuality, and which
cast a shadow over Tasmania's international reputation. Amnesty
International has long been calling for Tasmania to bring its laws into
line with international human rights standards and we will continue to do
so until this has been achieved."
In a recently released report, "Breaking the Silence - Human Rights
Violations based on Sexual Orientation", Amnesty International documents
officially sanctioned violations against gays and lesbians including
executions, beatings and torture in Columbia, Brazil, Romania, Turkey,
Saudi Arabia and Albania, as well as imprisonment in Tasmania.
Amnesty International urges the Upper House to vote in favour of repealing
all legislation which allows someone to be jailed for up to 25 years purely
for exercising their sexual orientation.
Amnesty International's National Campaign Coordinator Tim Goodwin will be
speaking at the rally to support gay law reform which will be held at
Tasmania's Parliament House Gardens at 12.30pm today.
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