Tasmanian gay rights activists have paid tribute to long-serving Tasmanian Liberal MP Sue Napier  following an announcement she will retire from state politics.
Napier served in the Tasmanian House of Assembly as member for the Division of Bass, in the state’s north-east, for 18 years. She will stand down due to the return of breast cancer with which she was first diagnosed in 2008.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said Napier was a voice of “compassion and commonsense within the Liberal Party”.
“Mrs Napier can be proud of her contribution to making Tasmania a more inclusive and tolerant society,” he said.
“We wish Sue Napier well in what we hope will be a rapid recovery.”
Napier took a stand sympathetic to the gay community during the decriminalisation of homosexual sex in Tasmania in 1997.
In an ABC Radio interview today, Napier described gay law reform as one of her proudest achievements.
“A lot of people said, ‘Why are you concentrating on that?’, and I said, ‘Because it’s important — it’s important for individuals and their freedom’,” she said.
Napier is regarded a trailblazer for women in Tasmania politics as she was the first woman to be Deputy Premier and Opposition Leader.

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