ACT Deputy Chief Minister and treasurer Andrew Barr joined Canberra-based LGBTI support body Diversity ACT Community Services to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHoT) on Friday.
Diversity ACT set up stalls in Civic’s Garema Place for people seeking information about IDAHoT and LGBTI rights in the ACT, as well as filming a video for the new “Homophobia, Why?” campaign. Barr attended the stall and gave a guest speech on the state of LGBTI rights in the ACT, marriage equality and his experience as an openly gay cabinet minister.
Diversity ACT spokesman Brett Jones said while the ACT was lucky to have “one of the most progressive governments in the country,” there were still significant battles to fight before equality could be achieved.
“IDAHoT is a day we come together not only to celebrate our achievements but to condemn the hideous violations of human rights which occur based on sex- and gender-diverse people in countries less accepting than ours,” Jones said.
Barr made headlines in 2011 when he became the first openly gay leader of an Australian government, serving as Acting Chief Minister in the absence of Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.