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The gay activist group that took on the annoyance laws during World Youth Day was excluded from the ACON roundtable meeting of LGBTI groups to be held on September 27.

Rachel Evans, convenor of Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), said she was disappointed they were not invited to sit at the table with some 20 organisations at the GLBT NSW 2020. ‘With Federal Labor making moves to bring some good reforms down, we need more unity across all LGBTI groups to talk about full equality and act together to bring this about,’ she said.

Since 1999, CAAH has actively campaigned against discriminatory age of consent laws, the 2004 same-sex marriage ban and the civil union ban within the ACT of 2007/2008. It also fought for queer refugee rights and was instrumental in freeing queer refugees from Villawood Detention Centre, including the well-publicised case of Ali Humayun.

The group set up the NoToPope Coalition to protest Pope Benedict and his anti-condom, homophobic position during World Youth Day, and successfully challenged the anti-democratic ‘annoyance’ laws brought in by the State Government to stop peaceful protests.

ACON’s Michael Badorrek said the roundtable was only the first step and other groups would be invited to contribute to the final strategy at community forums.
‘This means that CAAH, along with many other organisations, will have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the strategy – just a little further down the track,’ he said.

He said an ACON organiser would be in touch with CAAH but so far nothing has eventuated.
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