Sir Elton in high demand
Tasmania wants Sir Elton John to come and play. Gay activists from the Apple Isle plan to write to the perennial entertainer in the hope of convincing him to schedule a concert in the state. Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the group would point out the significant improvements in Tasmania’s laws and attitudes regarding homosexuality to entice him further south for the first time since 1990.
“Elton John is a vocal supporter of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people right around the world, and we believe he will appreciate the fact that Tasmania has changed for the better,” Croome said.
“We will present Tassie as an example for Sir Elton to cite of how profound change can occur, even in places where discrimination has been, traditionally, very entrenched.”
Croome said when Elton John last visited Tasmania it remained the only Australian state to criminalise same-sex relationships, there were no anti-discrimination laws, and calls for reform had led to angry protests across the state and the arrest of gay rights supporters at Salamanca Market.
Ten years after decriminalisation in 1997, Tasmania now has the nation’s strongest anti-bias laws and is the only state that allows same-sex couples to obtain the rights of married couples by registering their relationships.
Elton John has spoken out against gay rights abuses by many of the world’s governments, including the current Australian Government.
In 2005 he obtained the same rights as a married spouse in British law by entering into a civil union with partner, David Furnish.
Elton John’s Rocket Man Solo Tour of Australia currently includes five concerts in the eastern states and the ACT, but not Tasmania.
Croome said Tasmania was competing with North Queensland for a sixth tour concert.