Now Reading
First openly lesbian politician elected to parliament in Tasmania

First openly lesbian politician elected to parliament in Tasmania

Allison Standen stands at a public event holding a cup and saucer and laughing at the camera

The small Australian state of Tasmania has just elected its first openly lesbian politician to the state parliament.

Alison Standen became the new member for Franklin on Thursday and represents the Australian Labor Party.

‘It’s official…this morning the TEC (Tasmanian Electoral Commission) website confirms that I have been elected to the Tasmanian state parliament,’ Standen wrote on Facebook.

‘I am honoured and humbled to receive the support of the people of Franklin to represent them.’

Campaigning for the ‘yes’ side during last year’s national postal survey on marriage equality, Standen is a big supporter of LGBTI rights.

‘Leadership to me is about connection to values; and about courage to stand up for the things that matter most to me – including LGBTIQ rights and addressing social inequality in general,’ Standen said.

‘I haven’t always dreamt of being a politician or a gay activist. But this campaign has given me and my family the opportunity to stand up and contribute as advocates.’

A welcome outcome

Tasmanian LGBTI groups welcomed Standen’s election.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, congratulated Standen. He said her election confirms how far Tasmania has moved towards being a fairer and more inclusive society.

‘I congratulate Alison on her election because she is strongly committed to the values of inclusion and equality,’ Croome said in a statement.

‘Her election confirms that being gay is no 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.’

During the election, Ms Standen and her partner talked publicly about their relationship and their family without any major backlash.