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Tasmanians Seek State Funds
for Anti-Violence Projects

Compiled By GayToday

tasmania.gif - 5.48 K Launceston---The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group has called on the State Government to develop and fund an anti-violence strategy for the State's lesbian and gay community.

The call comes in the wake of admissions by three youths in the Supreme Court in Launceston yesterday that they were involved in a hate motivated attack against two gay men in Launceston's City Park in June 1997.

Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said that the City Park attack is not an isolated incident and that the community as a whole must take responsibility for the problem of anti-gay violence.

"Attacks on gay men and lesbians in public places occur regularly in Tasmania, and the problem cannot be dealt with simply by capturing and punishing the offenders", Mr Croome said.

"An effective solution to the problem of anti-gay hate crime must involve a coordinated response from police, schools, health services and ultimately the entire community."

"This is why we want the Government to develop and fund a strategy for combating lesbian and gay hate crime."

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Mr Croome said that Tasmania Police and the State Education Department have already taken steps towards addressing violence against lesbian and gay people.

"We welcome the changes which have occurred but to make significant inroads into the problem the State Government must allocate the funds necessary for coordinated action across departments and for community education."

Mr Croome added that it is ironic that the problem of anti-gay violence has been highlighted on the second anniversary of gay law reform.

"The City Park attack shows how far we have still to go before we are a community which is truly accepting of its sexual minorities", he said.

The three youths were remanded for sentencing at a later date.

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