Monday, August 25, 2008

Gimmick or Gay protection: City of Sydney to introduce homophobia-free zones

While Sydney may be leading Australia in anti-homophobia moves, the idea of is not a world-first. In 2006, Juan Barreto, the Mayor of Venezuela's capital Caracas, declared that city to be a "homophobia-free zone".

The Australian reports:
First there were nuclear-free zones, then alcohol-free zones. Now Sydney is set to introduce "homophobia-free zones". In an Australian-first, City of Sydney council is moving to single out parts of the city for a crackdown on homophobic behaviour. The move, passed by a vote of five to four, could allow City of Sydney Council to revoke late-night trading privileges for venues if their patrons commit homophobic abuse or violence, and require venues to include anti-homophobia measures in staff training and patron management. Local businesses will be encouraged to use signs and stickers to declare their premises homophobia free.

But gay Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard, who voted against the idea, has labelled the plan "a PR stunt". "It's a gimmick, a token effort to do with a very serious problem," Mr Mallard said. "It's essentially signs and stickers. What we need is more police and, if they don't have the resources, council should provide money to employ security guards. READ MORE

H/T: GayAgenda