Western Australia’s landmark gay and lesbian law reforms will remain in place after a Labor victory in the state’s elections on Saturday.
Liberal leader Colin Barnett pledged to overturn extensive gay law reform, including same-sex adoption legislation and a lowered age of consent, if his party was elected.
But those plans were blocked when Labor, which introduced the sweeping gay rights legislative changes in 2002, returned to power with a parliamentary majority.
It was a very historic result in gay and lesbian rights worldwide, Rod Swift, convenor of Gay and Lesbian Equality WA (GALEWA), told Sydney Star Observer.
We’re one of the first places in the world to fight and win against a potential rollback of our laws.
Swift said the election campaign was unusual in that it involved defending, rather than lobbying for, gay and lesbian law reform.
GALEWA, with other organisations, adopted various strategies in the lead-up to the poll, including a leaflet campaign targeting some 50,000 marginal seat voters.
We took the task of trying to sell keeping law reform to the wider community, Swift said.
Equal Rights Network spokesperson Rodney Croome said the success of the campaign sent a message to gay and lesbian rights lobbyists everywhere.
The WA election result is not only a victory for the Gallop government, it’s also a victory for the grassroots LGBT human rights campaigning, Croome told the Star.
Western Australian voters also returned three openly gay or lesbian parliamentarians to power on Saturday.
While the election results were good news for Western Australia’s gay and lesbian community, Swift said GALEWA would continue to push for more reform.