Equality Tasmania has welcomed a review of Tasmania’s hate crime laws with a view to tougher penalties if crime is motivated by anti-LGBTIQA+ hate.

Currently, penalties for hate-motivated crimes can only be tougher if racial hatred is involved.

The Sentencing Board has proposed this be extended to include prejudice and hatred on the basis of sexuality, language, gender, age, disability or other attributes.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“We welcome the review of sentencing for hate-motivated crime and will be making the case for why anti-LGBTIQA+ prejudice and hate should draw tougher penalties.”

“The harm inflicted by crimes against LGBTIQA+ people can be much worse when the motive for that crime is hatred.”

“At the moment, the fact only race hate draws tougher sentences sends the message that hate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics is less serious and more acceptable.”

“It is vital that all forms of hatred are treated equally in the law.”

Mr Croome said the group will also be making the case for Tasmanian Police to have better training in identifying hate-motivated crime and better systems for recording it.

“There is not enough reliable data on hate crime in Tasmania and this is an opportunity to legislate so the Police have to collect that data”, he said.

Details of the review can be found here:

For as copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.


Hopes long history of Nazi attacks on state’s LGBTIQA+ community will end  

Equality Tasmania has welcomed the passage of an anti-Nazi law that is the best in the nation.

Equality Tasmania president, Rodney Croome, said,

“LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have been subject to harassment from Nazi sympathisers using Nazi symbols at least since the 1970s.”

“Harassment using Nazi symbols escalated during Tasmania’s debate on decriminalising homosexuality in the 1990s, was seen in Tasmania during the marriage equality postal survey and has peaked again during recent increased attacks on trans and gender diverse people.”

“In the past, I and other Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ advocates have received swastikas in the mail together with threats and intimidation.”

“I’m hopeful we will now see an end to this kind of harassment.”

“We welcome Tasmania’s strong and comprehensive ban on Nazi symbols and thank the State Government for initiating it.”

The new law bans all Nazi symbols, including the Nazi salute.

There will be an exemption for Nazi symbols if used for genuine academic, artistic, religious, scientific, cultural, educational or law enforcement purposes; or for the purpose of opposing, or demonstrating against, fascism, Nazism or Neo-Nazism.

Mr Croome said he is confident this exemption will cover the use of the pink triangle by the LGBTIQA+ community.

Pink triangles were used to identify gay men in Nazi concentration camps and the symbol has since been appropriated by the LGBTIQA+ community to represent remembrance and empowerment.

During debate on the anti-Nazi bill, Labor’s LGBTIQA+ Equality spokesperson, Ella Haddad, asked if pink triangles would be exempt and Attorney-General, Elise Archer, confirmed they would be.

For more on Tasmania’s nation-leading laws against Nazi symbols:

For a news report on Nazi attacks in Hobart during the marriage postal survey:

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.

Protest sends pro-trans message to Hobart commuters

Forty people turned out in wet, cold and windy weather yesterday to protest an anti-transgender message on a billboard in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

For nearly a month the billboard sponsored by anti-transgender group, LGB Tasmania, has broadcast the message “Let Kids Be Kids” in opposition to gender-affirming care for young trans and gender diverse Tasmanians.

The protesters, who stood in front of the billboard at the Hobart showgrounds on the Brooker Highway in Glenorchy, held banners declaring “Let Trans Kids Be Trans Kids”, “Trans Lives Worth Fighting For” and “Unbroken”, with some commuters hitting their car horns in support.

Spokesperson for Equality Tasmanian which organised the protest, Olivia Hogarth, said,

“It was heartwarming to have so many people brave the wet and blustery conditions to join our action to support and stand in solidarity with trans and gender diverse Tasmanians. “

“As the 40 of us stood in front of the electronic billboard on the Brooker Hwy in Glenorchy, we were greeted by supportive car horns from people who supported our message ‘Let trans kids be trans kids’.”

Long-time Tasmanian tranasgender human rights advocate, Martine Delaney said,

“The rights of trans and gender diverse kids to exist is being undermined by misinformation campaigns. It’s vital they see their allies standing up for them, no matter how cruel the weather!”

From Monday the billboard was to carry trans-affirming messages sponsored by Equality Tasmania. These messages were to include “Let transgender kids be themselves” and “Save lives, Support transgender kids”.

However, overnight the billboard was vandalised with red paint and it is uncertain when Equality Tasmania’s messages will begin. 

The anti-trans message only had one more day to run. No-one has claimed responsibility for the vandalism. 

LGB Tasmania has said it will sponsor equivalent billboards in Launceston and Burnie. It is understood the same billboard will also appear in Sydney and Melbourne.

For a copy of this media alert on the internet, click here

For more information contact Martine Delaney on 0417 530 621 or Olivia Hogarth on 0415 372 193.

Tasmania urged to follow ACT on intersex surgery ban

Tasmanian advocates have called on the state to follow the ACT’s lead by banning unnecessary, non-consenting medical interventions on children with innate variations of sex characteristics.

Simone-lisa Anderson, the Tasmanian representative on Intersex Peer Support Australia, said,

“Today is a monumental day for human rights protections.”

“The ACT government has passed legislation to protect people with innate variations of sex characteristics. This legislation is accompanied by funding for necessary psychosocial supports for both families and children.”

“This was a commitment made to Intersex Human Rights Australia and Intersex Peer Support Australia in 2018 and implements recommendations from the 2021 report from the Australian Human Rights Commission.”

“In 2019 the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute made similar recommendations to the Tasmanian Government, yet there is still no action from our state government. There are still no protections for a community that is too-rarely acknowledged or supported in Tasmania.”

“As the Tasmanian representative on IPSA, I congratulate the ACT and urge the Tasmanian Government to act as soon as possible.”

“This reform is needed to support health and wellbeing in our community.”

More from the ACT: here

For this statement on the net: here
For more information contact Simone-lisa Anderson on 0456 032 088.

LGB group’s anti-trans billboard antithesis of Pride Month

Equality Tasmania says an anti-trans billboard in Glenorchy has no place in an inclusive Tasmania. 

The billboard reads “Let Kids be Kids” and was erected by LGB Tasmania for Pride Month. LGB Tasmania is a group that excludes trans and gender diverse people. 

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rose Boccalatte, said, 

“Research consistently shows that trans and gender diverse young people thrive when they are affirmed.” 

“The message of this billboard is that trans and gender diverse young people don’t exist or are misguided, that supporting them is somehow a threat to young people and they should be left alone to suffer in silence without hope.” 

“That message is the antithesis of Pride Month.” 

“This billboard is inflicting harm on trans and gender diverse young people in Hobart’s northern suburbs, young people who are already struggling to find their place at school, at home and in the community.” 

“It has no place in an inclusive Tasmania.” 

Equality Tasmania Vice President, Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone, said, 

“The slogan on this billboard has been used to justify erasing, ignoring, stigmatising and discriminating against young lesbian, gay and bisexual people for decades.” 

“It has been code for saying lesbian, gay and bisexual young people don’t exist or are just pretending, and if they do exist their needs should be ignored and they should be pushed to the margins.” 

“It is a travesty that this slogan is now used by an LGB group to stigmatise young trans people.” 

“Pride Month is about inclusion and celebration, not prejudice, shaming and exclusion from one part of our community against another part.” 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rose Boccalatte or Lucy Mercer-Mapstone via 


Equality Tasmania fears the State Government is backsliding on its commitment to ban conversion practices. 

Today in Budget Estimates, Premier Jeremy Rockliff said he wants conversion legislation to protect rights such as “freedom of speech” and “prayer” adding that legislation will be introduced in this term of Government (which ends in June 2025).  

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone, said perpetrators of conversion practices should not be able to hide behind “freedom of speech” or “freedom to pray”. 

“Tasmanian conversion survivors have talked publicly about the trauma inflicted by groups of people praying over them in order to change their sexuality.” 

“They have also spoken about the open promotion of conversion practices based on false and misleading claims.” 

“These harmful practices must not be allowed to continue under the pretext of freedom of speech or religion.” 

“Conversion bans in Victoria and the ACT have not led to any infringements of free speech or religious freedom so the Tasmanian ban does not require any special caveats.” 

“The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s recommendations about the best way to prevent conversion practices were very clear and we are concerned the Government is seeking to backslide from those recommendations.” 

Dr Mercer-Mapstone went on to urge the Government to act quickly. 

“Conversion practices continue to be inflicted on LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians, causing lifelong trauma, so a ban is required as soon as possible.” 

“It has already been a year since the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute recommended this reform and vulnerable LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians should not have to wait any longer.” 

“The Government has interstate precedents, clear guidelines from the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, research showing the deep harm caused by conversion practices and the compelling testimony of Tasmanian survivors, so there is no excuse for any further equivocation.” 

Tomorrow, June 6th, is the first anniversary of the Premier’s commitment to ban conversion practices based on the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s recommendations. 

The Premier was responding to questions from Tasmanian Greens leader, Cassy O’Connor. 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Lucy Mercer-Mapstone on 0458 173 629.


Equality Tasmania and Working It Out have welcomed funding announced in Thursday’s state budget.

The Tasmanian Government has allocated $175,000 for Equality Tasmania and Working It Out to help develop the state’s LGBTIQ+ Action Plan, with half that amount for each organisation.

Equality Tasmania president, Rodney Croome, said,

“We welcome the Government’s funding because it will ensure the skills and experience of the LGBTIQA+ community informs the development and implementation of the Government’s proposed LGBTIQ+ Action Plan.”

“The funding acknowledges that the LGBTIQA+ community has an indispensable role to play in developing the policies and programs that directly affect it.”

“This is a milestone for Equality Tasmania because it is the first time in 35 years we have received government funding.”

“We look forward to exploring future funding agreements with the State Government that allow LGBTIQA+ voices to be heard in the development of policies and programs for our community.”

In 2021 the Tasmanian Government conducted a large-scale survey of the state’s LGBTIQA+ community, the results from which were released as the Telling Us The Story Report in May 2022.

The recommendations of that survey are informing the development of a new State Government LGBTIQ+ Action Plan.

The funding allocation will help Equality Tasmania, Working It Out and the broader LGBTIQA+ community contribute to the development of the Action Plan.

The State Government has also increased the Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ Community Fund from $60,000 to $100,000 per year.

The fund is for community-led projects that address discrimination and stigma against LGBTIQA+ people. 

For a copy of the Telling Us The Story Report:

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or WIO CEO Dr Lynn Jarvis on 0408 265 045.


A memorial to a Tasmanian trangender woman has been vandalised with a hateful anti-trans slogan, prompting calls for Tasmania’s leaders to speak out against anti-trans hate. 

A memorial to Marjorie Harwood who died after an anti-trans sexual assault in Hobart’s Risdon Prison has been spray-painted with an anti-trans slogan, “YWNBAW”, which is an acronym for “you will never be a woman”. 

Speaking today at the memorial outside Risdon Prison, Marjorie’s mother, Rosemary said, 

“As a mum it just hurts so much to think they would attack Marjorie’s memorial.” 

“I want whoever did this to know that if they do it again we will keep cleaning it off. They will not defeat us. We will keep Marjorie’s memory alive no matter what.”  

Veteran Tasmanian transgender advocate, Martine Delaney, was also at the memorial.

She said, 

“I don’t think it was a random event. It was part of a continuing campaign to demonise and incite hatred against trans and gender diverse people.”  

“Trans and gender diverse people and our families shouldn’t be alone in defending ourselves. We need our political, civic and religious leaders to speak out and condemn anti-transgender hate and discrimination.” 

In 2018 Marjorie Harwood was gang raped when she was being held in the men’s prison at Risdon. She subsequently died as a result of physical and psychological injuries. 

To remember Marjorie, a stone outside Risdon Prison was covered in a mosaic of the transgender flag. It was this memorial that was attacked. 

Marjorie’s tragic death was partly why Tasmania passed world-best gender recognition laws in 2019 and why the Tasmanian Justice Department is now leading the nation on developing trans-inclusive prison policies. 

Tasmania Police have been notified and Clarence City Council will clean the memorial. 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information, or to speak to Rosemary Harwood, contact Martine Delaney on 0417 530 621.


Media Release

Thursday May 11th 2023

Equality Tasmania has called on the State Government to commit to a timetable for introducing a ban on conversion practices. 

The call comes as the Premier Jeremy Rockliff recommitted to the reform in Parliament but did not provide a timeframe.  

Equality Tasmania President, Rodney Croome, said, 

“May 17th will mark a year since the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) issued its landmark report recommending a ban on conversion practices, and we still haven’t seen any draft legislation.” 

“While the Government delays, harmful and futile conversion practices continue to be inflicted on LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians.” 

Mr Croome said that when the TLRI recommended a conversion ban for Tasmania, such bans existed in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, but in the last twelve months additional commitments to conversion bans have been given by the NSW, West Australian and South Australian governments. 

“Tasmania is at real risk of being the last state to ban conversion practices, damaging our reputation for LGBTIQA+ inclusion and making us a potential haven for conversion practitioners thrown out of the other states.”  

“We will seek an urgent meeting with the Premier and Attorney-General to outline the harm continued delays will cause.” 

Mr Croome went on to say he is concerned by the Premier’s statement that he and the Attorney-General are working on policy issues in relation to conversion legislation. 

“The TLRI’s recommendations were very detailed and clear, other states provide useful precedents and the issue itself is straightforward, so I don’t understand why further policy discussion is needed.” 

“The Premier committed to implementing the TLRI’s recommendations and that is what we call on him to do asap.” 

On June 5th 2022, Premier Jeremy Rockliff committed to introducing a ban on conversion practices based on the TLRI’s recommendations. He has confirmed that commitment twice since. 

A study of LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians, commissioned by the State Government, conducted by the University of Tasmania and released in May last year, found that 5% of LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have been through formal conversion practices. 

A national study by La Trobe University released earlier in 2022 found that conversion survivors are 3 to 4 times more likely than other LGBTIQA+ people to experience post traumatic stress disorder and to have attempted suicide. 

Mr Rockliff was responding to a question from Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, in Parliament this morning. 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.

Community survey calls for improved care for transgender Tasmanians

To mark International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31st), Equality Tasmania has released a landmark report on transgender people’s experiences in Tasmania. 

The report details the results of a community survey of over 80 trans and gender diverse adults about their experiences of medically affirming their gender in Tasmania (some people call this ‘transitioning’).

Lead researcher and Equality Tasmania board member, Dr Ruby Grant said:
“Our community survey found critical shortcomings in the availability and quality of gender affirmation services in Tasmania, forcing some Tasmanians to seek care interstate.” 

“This is a problem because we know that gender affirmation leads to better health outcomes, but many trans people in Tasmania struggle to access it because of financial or geographical barriers.”

The report found Tasmanians wanting gender affirming hormone treatments can face long wait times and poor communication from healthcare providers.

This was the experience of one community member, Ash Russell, who said: 

“It took me years to work up the courage to affirm my gender medically. When I finally did get an appointment after waiting months more for a space in their schedule, the experience was uncomfortable and stressful.”

 One of the most significant findings of the report was that trans Tasmanians felt that healthcare providers were placing unnecessary and unfair hurdles in their path to accessing medical care. 

“I felt pressured to conform to gender stereotypes in order to be given access to care. I was then denied that care until a psychologist assessed my ability to understand the impact of treatment in a way that would never occur for any other medicines. This made me feel like my sanity was being questioned simply because I am trans,” Mx Russell said. 

On a positive note, the report shows that once they gain access to services, many trans Tasmanians are satisfied with the care they receive, highlighting the importance of quality healthcare for this community.

“We found that when trans people feel respected by healthcare providers they experience greater satisfaction with care and, importantly, lower levels of stress,” Dr Grant said.

In their recommendations from the report, Equality Tasmania calls on the Tasmanian Government to increase funding for the Sexual Health Service to meet demand and reduce wait times. They also recommend ongoing professional development for healthcare providers working with the trans and gender diverse community. 

Rodney Croome, President of Equality Tasmania, said the report comes at a critical time for LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians. 

“With increasing attacks on trans rights, it is important not to lose sight of the real issues trans and gender diverse people face in our communities and to work with service providers to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable”, Mr Croome said. 

The full report is available at:

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact: Dr Ruby Grant on 0438 901 857 or Ash Russell at 0447 378 689