A PIONEER in the Australian gay and lesbian rights movement, Lex Watson, has died overnight.

Watson had been a campaigner for gay and lesbian rights since the late 1960s and was a foundation member, and later co-president, of CAMP, the first gay rights organisation in Australia.

He was also a founder of the Gay Rights Lobby and was instrumental in the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in NSW in 1984, the 30th anniversary of which is to be celebrated this year.

In addition, Watson was also founder of the AIDS Action Committee and was the first president of AIDS Council of NSW (ACON).

At the time of his death, Watson was the president of the Pride History Group.

NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby convenor Justin Koonin expressed sadness at the news Watson’s passing.

“We have the freedoms we enjoy today because Lex, and others, stood up all those years ago,” he said.

“Lex was a visionary and pioneer, and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. It was an honour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby last year with him. He will be greatly missed.”

 A full obit will be published on the Pride History Website later today: www.pridehistorygroup.org.au

(Image source: Pride History Group)

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