Candidates in the upcoming Tasmanian Upper House election have signed a pledge against election campaigning that is hateful, demeaning, or seeks to inspire fear against LGBTIQ people.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Charlie Burton said that by signing, the candidates have committed to refrain from demeaning and hateful campaigning against LGBTIQ Tasmanians, and to stand against such campaigning by others.
“Too often in the past, LGBTIQ people and other minorities have been the subject of fear-mongering in political campaigns,” said Burton.
“This debases political debate and often results in harmful backlash against vulnerable groups.
“We can and must lift our political debate.”
“We’re very pleased the candidates who have signed our pledge recognise this and we look forward to a true contest of ideas in the coming days.”
The pledges were signed yesterday by afternoon candidates in the Huon and Rosevears electorates.
Signatories in Huon were Labor candidate Bastian Seidel and Greens candidate Pat Caruana.
“As people seeking public office, we have a responsibility to ensure that we do not demean others or sit silently by while others are put down,” said Caruana.
“We all have a role to play in stamping out hate speech.”
Dr Seidel said he was “delighted and honoured” to sign Equality Tasmania’s election pledge.
Huon sitting member Robert Armstrong, independent candidate Debbie Armstrong, and Shooters and Fishers candidate Garrick Cameron were unable to attend the signing but indicated their support for the pledge.
Signatories in Rosevears were Labor candidate Jess Greene, Greens candidate Jack Davenport, and independent candidate Janie Finlay.
Greene promised to “always stand up and speak out against inequality and discrimination in our society”.
Finlay said that she was proud to sign the pledge.
“Two of my highest order values are respect and kindness,” she said.
“No-one ever deserves to feel humiliated or threatened.”
Rosevears Liberal candidate Jo Palmer was unable to attend the signing but indicated her support for the pledge.
Dr Burton said that anti-LGBTIQ fear campaigns were an unfortunate feature of the final days of the recent Eden Monaro by-election, the last federal election, and past Tasmanian elections.
Similar pledges have been signed by Tasmanian candidates during past state and federal elections.