LGBTI Australians have celebrated and mourned former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser today, who died early this morning after a short illness.
While he was the object of significant resentment from the progressive side of politics during his time in office, in large part due to his role in the Whitlam dismissal, in his later years Fraser became estranged from the Liberal Party.
He left the party in 2010 following increasing public criticism of its policies, particularly around foreign affairs and asylum seekers.
Fraser was a supporter of same-sex marriage, and argued the Liberal Party’s failure to grant its MPs a conscience vote on the issue was evidence the ideology of the party had shifted from classically liberal to conservative.
Many prominent LGBTI Australians have taken to social media today following the news to share their thoughts and memories of the man, praising his human rights advocacy and liberal values.
— Paul Kidd (@paulkidd) March 19, 2015
Vale Malcolm Fraser. He certainly surprised and inspired us in his later years
— Fiona Patten (@FionaPattenMLC) March 19, 2015
— Chris Pycroft (@chrispytweets) March 19, 2015
— Senthorun Raj (@senthorun) March 19, 2015
Malcolm Fraser: a Liberal leader who wasn't racist, helped asylum seekers and banned whaling. Good times… http://t.co/Qq7N4Qg5Cc
— Tom Ballard (@TomCBallard) March 20, 2015
Go well, Malcolm. My uncle got to be an Australian after you offered an amnesty for illegal immigrants, and my sister was named after Tami.
— Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw) March 20, 2015
My younger self wld never have believed that I wld one day say this – am deeply sad to hear of passing of #MalcolmFraser our last statesman?
— Magda Szubanski (@MagdaSzubanski) March 19, 2015
Vale Malcolm Fraser, one of the most courageous leaders we’ve ever had. Such a sad way to start the day.
— Tim Christodoulou (@tim_chr) March 19, 2015