Earlier this weekend, 1,100 marchers took to the streets of Hobart to celebrate the 16th annual TasPride Festival parade. The marchers mustered in North Hobart, then waved rainbow flags on a parade route that wound into oak-lined Franklin Square in the city centre.
A rainbow flag flying proudly from Hobart Town Hall signified the end of the parade. Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Helen Burnet officiated at the flag-raising the day before. The parade is the signature event of the two-week TasPride Festival following the launch on Friday.
Before the festival, Luke Martin, from the Tourism Industry Council encouraged more Tasmanian businesses to embrace rainbow tourism. He said that in 2018, Tasmania recorded a higher percentage of same-sex weddings than any other Australian state. He also spoke of his pride in Tasmania’s Rainbow Tourism initiative and encouraged even greater participation.
“With the TasPride Festival on this weekend, it’s a great time to encourage more Tasmanian tourism and hospitality businesses to be a part of the Rainbow Tourism program.”
Despite its history as the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality, Tasmania has since often led the way on LGBTIQ law reform.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said the same-sex wedding statistics demonstrated Tasmania’s change for the better.
“These statistics are a reminder that the more inclusive and open Tasmania becomes, the more prosperous Tasmania becomes.
“More and more people are speaking of Tasmania as the Rainbow Isle.”
Rodney Croome also said he and his partner hoped to soon add to the state’s same-sex wedding statistics themselves. Although yet to set a date, he knew the marriage would take place in Tassie.
TasPride 2020 pics
— Monte Bovill (@MonteBovill) February 8, 2020
— Matt Janssen (@matt_janssen) February 8, 2020
In addition to marching, the Tasmanian Police offered a unique rendition of YMCA.
— Julie Preston (@Julzpreston) February 8, 2020
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