Rainbow Territory*: Our community matters
Friday, 13 February 2015, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Darwin, Northern Territory
In August 2014, David Tollner, who at the time was Deputy Chief Minister, made homophobic comments which were widely reported in Northern Territory and national media. Mr Tollner has recently been appointed as Treasurer, despite his failure to apologise publically for the comments. This week he stated he did not make the remarks.
Rainbow Territory spokesperson Jane Black: “Rainbow Territory is speaking out because our community matters. Homophobic comments such as those made by Mr Tollner contribute to the disproportionate levels of mental health issues, discrimination and harassment that the LGBTIQ community experience. Homophobia is real and alive in the Territory today.”
“When government leaders make homophobic or other disrespectful remarks about individuals or groups, it creates the perception that such comments are acceptable. This is not good enough”.
Ms Black: “All community members have a responsibility to treat others with respect and dignity. The community expects our elected representatives to demonstrate leadership in this regard.”
Rainbow Territory considers it inappropriate to have people with such views in positions of leadership and authority within the NT Government.
The Chief Minister, Adam Giles, made reference to the comments of Mr Tollner in an article published in the NT News on 21 August 2014, stating “perceptions become reality in politics and I want to make sure that Territorians know they have a Government who stands for all and will provide leadership on what those community expectations are.”
Rainbow Territory calls on the Giles Government to make a statement affirming its respect for LGBTIQ citizens and its commitment to non-discriminatory government.
Further, the group calls on Mr Tollner to publically apologise and acknowledge the harm done by the comments he made in August 2014.
* Rainbow Territory is a Northern Territory community group that advocates for the human rights of Northern Territorians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (‘LGBTIQ’).
Jane Black: 0406 186 382
About Rainbow Territory: http://www.outnt.info/rainbowterritory/
GLAAD Media Reference Guide: http://www.glaad.org/publications/reference
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