ADELAIDE City Council plans to install a rainbow walk in Light Square as a show of support for the city’s LGBTI community, once it solves the issue of funding.
The walk, along with plans to light up the town hall in rainbow colours, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in South Australia.
[showads ad=MREC]Deputy Lord Mayor Houssam Abiad believes the initiative will help Adelaide’s LGBTI community feel more accepted.
“This is another symbolic way to showcase that we’re an open and diverse city,” he told the Star Observer.
“Adelaide is an open and tolerant city, and we need to celebrate that.”
Cr Robert Simms, who put forward the motion to install the walk earlier this year, told AAP that it was an exciting way for Adelaide to celebrate an important milestone.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to create a symbol for diversity and pride in our city,” he said.
After the walk was approved, the council received a lot of negative backlash from the public.
Abiad said it came with the territory, and that council wasn’t close-minded in that regard.
“I’m hoping that in this process the people with negative comments will pay due respect to that balance and make sure they aren’t discriminating against other people’s rights,” the mayor said.
“It’s an educational process,” he continued, “and you take some people on the journey, while acknowledging that not everyone will be on board.”
While the rainbow walk has been given the go ahead, the council is still trying to work out how it will be funded.
Abiad said there was some ambiguity around how much it will cost exactly, but saw crowdfunding as a way to raise the money for it.
“For me I feel that this is such a community inspired project, that I want to see community involvement,” he said.
“I feel confident that through social media and crowd funding that a lot of people will chip in to be a part of this.
“The intent of the motion to install the walk is that it gets delivered, so all we’re waiting for is to work out the funding.”
South Australia was the first state to decriminalise homosexuality 40 years ago in August, and alongside the rainbow walk and installation of rainbow lighting to illuminate the town hall, there will also be celebrations during Adelaide’s annual Feast Festival — the city’s LGBTI pride and cultural event.
An exhibition celebrating the historic law reform will also be hosted in the State Library of South Australia.
Entitled An Open and Shut Case, the exhibition will tell the story of how the drowning of law lecturer Dr George Duncan in 1972 led to legislation being introduced to enact some of the country’s earliest gay law reforms.
Displays will draw extensively on original materials including archived books, posters, photographs, newspaper articles and other documents.
Actor and writer Stephen Fry will also be travelling to the city in November to help celebrate the anniversary, and Eurovision 2014 winner Conchita Wurst will be in town as part of Feast Festival.
Abiad said being a step ahead in these areas was what Adelaide prides itself on.
“This is something the city has fought for, the decriminalisation 40 years ago,” he said.
“I’m sure it would have happened through a massive movement and push, and that’s who we are, we need to be innovative.”[showads ad=FOOT]