Gay rights activist named ‘Australian of the year’ in Tasmania

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An activist for Australian Marriage Equality has been named as Tasmania’s Australian of the year.

Rodney Croome, the national director of the lobbying group, was honoured for his years of activism this week – 26 years after he was arrested for setting up a gay rights stall.

He said: “A quarter century later Tasmania and the nation have seen immense strides towards LGBTI equality.

“Across Australia, hatred and bigotry against LGBTI people have gone from being tolerated to having no legitimate place.

“Tasmania has gone from having the worst laws and attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities to having some of the best.

“Wherever I go around Australia I meet people who want the growing social acceptance of LGBTI folk to be reflected in marriage laws that celebrate love rather than entrench outdated attitudes.

“I know that in this award these many Australians will find great encouragement.”

Acting director of Australian Marriage Equality, Ivn Hinton-Teoh, said: “This is a wonderful recognition of the ongoing life work of a great Australian.

“It is both an honour and a privilege to work alongside Rodney for a more inclusive Australia.”

“Today Tasmanians have honoured Rodney for his advocacy for equality.

“We look forward to the federal government also recognising the importance of equality for all Australians by moving forward on marriage equality.”