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Victoria's Police "Sorry" For The Disgrace Of Australia's "Stonewall Equivalent"

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Written by  | Published in: Personal stories

By Luke Bryant, Independent Member, Prime Timers Worldwide

In the later part of the 20th Century, the sometimes painful but relentless journey from "Tolerance" a word that suggests, "Yeah but?" instead of "Acceptance" of the 10 to 15%+ of non-heterosexual people reached an important milestone on June 28, 1969 in the New York "Stonewall Riots" when a series of violent demonstrations by the gay community against a police raid took place and later in 1978 the Sydney Mardi Gras grew from gay rights marches as numerous participants were arrested by New South Wales State Police. This was supported by the NSW politician, Fred Nile, an ordained religious zealot opposed to homosexuality, as he saw it a "lifestyle choice" and the Sydney Mardi Gras a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy".

 


pdf  Click to download a PDF version of this article.

 

In the same period, Harvey Milk, a gay politician in San Francisco was murdered for his support of "Acceptance". of non-heterosexual citizens.

In Victoria, Australia the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, outlawed discrimination against non-heterosexual citizens. Belatedly, Victoria Police appointed a part time Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer in 1990 (GLLO) and four years later on 7 August 1994, in Melbourne, Victoria, the "Tasty" Nightclub was raided by police that descended on 463 patrons that were mostly members of the gay, lesbian and transgender communities. Police were supposedly looking for drugs, so police officers detained and stripped naked many of the GLT members over the next seven hours.

There was a suggestion that a rival Nightclub made a false accusation against the Tasty Club, also the police action occurred at a time when many religious zealots held the view that AIDS was God's retribution on a sinful people. One can only guess the truth and to what extent that thinking had on police that should have been above such nonsense.

Although I have never been a Nightclub fan, at the time I was an active member of the Gay and Lesbian Police Employees Network (Vic) Inc. (GALPEN) and like all GALPEN's Sworn Officers, I was equally shocked.
The incident resulted in an investigation by the States Ombudsman and a successful Class Action against the Police resulted in a payout of millions of dollars to those so badly - and illegally treated.

The "Tasty raid" was an important turning point. Today, every Victorian Police Cadet meets GLBTI persons and others from Victoria's diverse community, as part of their training in a program entitled Community Encounters at the Police Academy where I am a volunteer. They also receive dedicated training on LGBTI issues, so today, a gay citizen can - without fear or resentment - be more secure by leaving the closet door closed behind them to be much stronger - out - as a lawful citizen.

To view the U-tube video, hold down Ctrl key and left click your mouse.

Victoria Police Issue Tasty Nightclub Apology

 

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Last modified on Monday, 25 August 2014 12:50
Luke Bryant

Retired, following 20 years at Monash University, Dept. of Physics as Head of Photographic Laboratory from 1962 to the end of 1982 – to become openly involved with Gay/Lesbian issues in Law Enforcement, particularly those of Gay/Lesbian Victoria Police Officers.

I'm also a member of the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation,  formed  to perpetuate the memory of members of the Victoria Police killed in the line of duty. This is achieved through fund raising with money going to specialized medical facilities in Victorian public hospitals. 

To date, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has allocated more than $3 million to community projects that give specialized treatment and medical care to over 65,000 patients each year.

* See: Articles in Prime Timers, "ACCEPTANCE - NOT TOLERANCE AND HATE-CRIMES"  Pages 10 & 11, February 2012 and "TIMES PAST" Pages 10 & 11,  August 2012. 

Much of my history and photos can be found throughout my website on Yahoo “flickr”.  See below.

Website: www.flickr.com/photos/rlukebryant/

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