Chalking up a change

As the DIY rainbow movement sweeps across Armidale, a University of New England researcher is using the chalk art to draw attention to gay and lesbian rights.

Tiffany Jones created her own rainbow in Civic Park on Kirkwood Street and said she was soon approached by children and families wanting to help out. 

“Everyone was really supportive about the idea,” she said.

“It generated discussions about the new marriage changes in New Zealand. We really need to all show that our communities hold our standards high.”

Dr Jones found it concerning federal anti-discrimination legislation does not include any protection on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. 

She had made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Federal Anti-discrimination Legislation and some of her advice has made it into the draft for the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.

Dr Jones said while rural communities are generally less supportive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, she thought Armidale was a fairly accepting city.

“The university does do a lot in that area,” she said. 

“Armidale’s a little atypical of rural areas.”

Other DIY rainbows have appeared in Uralla and at the University of New England. 

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