Tasmanians have elected the state’s first openly-lesbian MP Alison Standen to parliament during the state election held earlier this month.

The Labor MP’s election in the electorate of Franklin has been welcomed by the LGBTI community.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said Standen’s election confirms how far the state has moved towards equality and inclusion.

“I congratulate Alison on her election because she is strongly committed to the values of inclusion and equality,” he said.

“Her election confirms that being gay is not a barrier to holding high elected office in Tasmania.

“It also confirms just how far Tasmania has come since it was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality twenty years ago.”

Former Greens leader Bob Brown became the first openly-gay MP in any Australian parliament when we was elected in Tasmania in 1983.

During this year’s state election, Standen and her partner talked publicly about their relationship and their family without any discernible backlash.

“Although there were some anti-LGBTI leaflets distributed in northern electorates by the Australian Christian Lobby, there were no locally-based attacks against the positive record on LGBTI human rights of any candidate or party,” Croome said.

“This is the first time this has happened since LGBTI human rights became a public issue in Tasmania in the 1980s.

“I have no doubt that it was due in large part to growing public awareness of Tasmania’s strong and comprehensive hate-speech laws.

“I think I speak for many Tasmanians when I say I hope the 2018 election sets a positive precedent for future state elections being free of anti-LGBTI hate.”

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