Tasmanian LGBTI community advocates say they are relieved the state’s Upper House has voted against watering down laws against language that is offensive, humiliating and that incites hatred.

This afternoon the Upper House voted seven to four against an attempt by the Government to allow hate speech if it is in the name of religion.

An attempt to remove laws against offensive and humiliating language also failed.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“LGBTI Tasmanians will breath a sigh of relief that this retrograde push to weaken our anti-hate laws has been voted down.”

“With hate campaigns likely during a marriage equality postal vote, this is the very worst time for Parliament to give hate a green light.”

“I congratulate those Upper House members who have put vulnerable Tasmanians first.”

“Now that our anti-hate laws have been upheld I urge all supporters of marriage equality in state parliament to leave that issue behind them and unite behind winning a ‘yes’ vote should the postal vote proceed.”

Mr Croome congratulated disability advocates for their strong defence of Tasmania’s laws against hate speech.

“The majority of complaints under our hate speech laws are from people with disabilities.”

“Disability advocates have excelled themselves in the defence of the dignity and rights of Tasmanians with disabilities.”

Tasmania has Australia’s strongest and most comprehensive laws against hate speech.

They were put in place following the hate-filled debate on decriminalising homosexuality in the 1990s.

MLCs who voted for the Governemnt’s amendment: Tania Rattray, Ivan Dean, Leonie Hiscutt and Robert Armstrong

MLCs who voted against the amendment: Ruth Forrest, Mike Gaffney, Rob Valentine, Kerry Finch, Sarah Lovell, Josh Willie and Rosemary Armitage

Craig Farrel was paired with Vanessa Goodwin and Greg Hall was acting president in the absence of Jim Wilkinson.
Rodney Croome, Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group