Rainbow Communities Tasmania Inc. is a state peak advocacy body for the LGBTIQ+ communities of Tasmania. We have established the Coming Out Proud Program (COPP) in many municipalities, including Kingborough, in a council-supported anti-discrimination program.
Part of COPP's aims ‘to acknowledge, respect and celebrate our communities', have still to be achieved. There has been little support from Kingborough Council in this recent term, including ensuring that our communities are represented in the diversity audit of council staff and councillors. It is also expected but not realised yet, that the sexual and gender diverse communities of the Kingborough municipality will be acknowledged and included in official functions of council, including the raising of the rainbow flag on appropriate days and functions at the council chambers and buildings.
A significant part of this program has been the appointment of a LGBTIQ+ liaison councillor in a number of councils, including Kingborough, whose appointed councillor, David Grace, negotiated the development of the COP Program with the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT). David volunteered his services because he wanted to represent some of the ‘gay’ young people in his extended family.
Because Cr Grace has so publicly faced a complaint of sexism before the Code of Conduct panel, RCTI wishes as an organisation to assure the ratepayers of Kingborough municipality that he has played a significant role for our communities without any sign of prejudice or discrimination. To the contrary, Cr Grace has played a significant role in the LGBTIQ+ Cultural Awareness Training our organisation provides to many mainstream organisations. As a working class person who speaks plain English he has a unique role with us, as he does at Kingborough Council.
Rainbow Communities Tasmania Inc. is anxious that Cr Grace will be allowed, as a popularly elected member, to continue in his valuable role with the Kingborough Council and community. Cr Grace is coming to the end of a distinguished twenty one year career in which we acknowledge and are grateful for his role in supporting Tasmania's LGBTIQ+ communities.