Approximately 500 LGBTI Tasmanians, their friends and supporters marched through Hobart at the weekend to a warm reception from Saturday afternoon shoppers and parade watchers.

The march, which included a contingent of LGBTI Aboriginal Tasmanians, was a highlight of the TasPride Festival, a fortnight of Tasmanian LGBTI parties, forums and other events which began the prior weekend.

The festival included the launch on Thursday of a new state government-funded research project into the discrimination experienced by LGBTI Tasmanians called ‘BeProud’.

The parade was followed by a rally at Parliament House addressed by Community Services Minister Cassy O’Connor, Coming Out Proud president Julian Punch, Outright Youth co-ordinator Joshua Brown, and Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome.

The parade was the state’s first since Tasmania became the final Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997.

Prior to decriminalisation, three pride festivals and marches were conducted despite attempts by the state Government to ban events and have participants arrested.

Last month the Tasmanian parliament became the first in Australia to pass a motion providing in-principle support for marriage equality.

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