This 1989 poster from our collection, Break The Silence: Rally for Gay Law Reform, documents a significant moment of the gay rights movement in Queensland; promoting one of the first major demonstrations in support of homosexual law reform. The rally was held outside Parliament House in Brisbane on August 31 and organised by the Queensland Association for Gay Law Reform.
University of Queensland magazine, Semper Floreat reported over 350 people took part in the rally. “We’re sick of being illegal and we’re sick of being stared or sneered at. It’s time for us to stop hiding and start shouting that we are happy and proud to be lesbian or gay. It’s time to demand our civil rights, it’s time to break our silence. It’s time to come out of our closets and onto the streets!”, said one rights activist addressing the protestors.
The Queensland Association for Gay Law Reform sought the repeal of all Queensland laws discriminating against homosexuals and new legislation be enacted to protect Queenslanders from discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference. Speakers at the rally included Michael Browne (Queensland Association for Gay Law Reform), Nigel Powell (Citizens Against Corruption) and Stephen Keim and Terry O’Gorman (Queensland Council for Civil Liberties).
The original poster features in our current exhibition, Freedom Then, Freedom Now which explores freedoms enjoyed and restricted in Queensland.
- Gay law reform in Queensland and the rest of Australia – Towards homosexual equality in Australian Criminal Law – A brief history by Graham Carbery via the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives [PDF]
- 28214 Greg Weir oral history 2010-2011 – An oral history with Greg Weir. He discusses his path to activism and his role in the Labor party, gay and lesbian politics, homosexual law reform, the origin and development of the Palm Sunday rallies, the AIDS epidemic and civil liberties, particularly with respect to the gay and lesbian communities in Queensland.
- Sunshine and rainbows : the development of gay and lesbian culture in Queensland by Clive Moore, 2001
Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland