Shrine of Remembrance cancels LGBTQ exhibit rainbow light show after receiving threats and abuse

“I think the Sanctuary is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be used that way, not just for gay and LGBTQI issues, but on any issue,” he said.

“It’s one thing to light up City Hall or Flinders Street Station. I think it is a bigger step to illuminate the Sanctuary”.

Yvonne Sillett, co-founder of the Discharged LGBTI Veterans’ Association and featured in a video of the exhibit, said she was delighted the colors of the rainbow would appear at the memorial and was devastated to learn it would not take place.

Sillett told the Veterans Defense and Suicide Royal Commission in February that she was questioned by military police about her sexuality in the army in the 1980s, which led to her experiencing suicidal thoughts and receiving an honorable discharge the following year.

Charging

Australia banned gays and lesbians from serving in the armed forces until 1992, and Sillett said lighting up the building was recognition of the struggle.

“We have fought when we were in, we fought when we were out. Absolutely treat us all the same, but that didn’t happen to us,” she said.

Sillett said some social media comments after the radio segment had been damaging to LGBTQ veterans and service members.

“These trolls probably aren’t even going to go to the exhibit, but they need to go… to see what we go through.”

The exhibition, Advocating with Pride: Stories of LGBTQ+ Service, marks the first time an Australian war memorial has examined LGBTQ service in a dedicated exhibition. It is the third in a series of exhibits exploring individual identity in times of war.

Lee told 3AW on Wednesday that he questioned whether pride colors were divisive.

Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has canceled plans to light the site in rainbow colors, citing abuse and threats directed at its staff.Credit:fake images

“The ADF has recognized gay, lesbian and bisexual members since 1992, so we’re talking about 30 years of recognition within the ADF, so I don’t know if it’s that divisive within the defense community,” Lee said.

“It was very carefully considered … we felt it was an important thing to acknowledge.”

Lee said she would be surprised if a majority in Victoria did not support the decision to recognize diversity of services.

“The horrors of war and the legacy of service do not discriminate and all members who have served in the ADF should be able to be recognized with pride,” he said.

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