Sydney Star Observer - Issue 892 - Published
LOBBY HONOURS SUPPORTERS, VOLUNTEERS
Recently retired Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch has been named outstanding community supporter by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.
Entsch told SSO he needed no recognition for his campaign for same-sex equality, he was just “doing his job” as a Member of Parliament.
“I hope I’ve contributed, but it’s not for me to claim recognition if [legislation] passes after the election. I’ll be over the moon when it does,” Entsch said.
“People like John Challis, David Scamell, Rodney Croome – these are the people that have been campaigning a hell of a lot longer than I have. I respect them immensely, and I don’t see them as radicals.
“They’ve provided accurate information, consistent advice, and I hope I’m some way to calling them friends.”
Entsch said the party room responded in uproar when he first raised same-sex equality over 18 months ago, but it was just a whisper the last time.
“Senators expressed to me a real discomfort in not being able to support Senator Murray’s amendments. They felt they didn’t want to create a level of controversy so close to an election,” he said.
Once the election is over, no matter who wins, Entsch believed reforms would pass without the need for a conscience vote.
Entsch also thanked his Liberal colleague Malcolm Turnbull for taking the campaign to the cabinet room, and for the credibility he brought.
The Lobby also noted Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes as a strong community supporter.
Volunteers Lynette Volley and Jonathan Andrews were recognised as outstanding, and former committee member Bruce Grant was inducted into the Lobby’s Hall of Fame for the 1998 “Homophobia: What are you scared of?” campaign.