Media Release
Friday April 12th 2019

LGBTI human rights advocate, Rodney Croome, has welcomed Prime Minister, Scott Morrison's, strong condemnation of new, repressive laws in Brunei, which target LGBTI people and other minorities.

Responding to a letter from Mr Croome asking him to speak out against Brunei's laws, Prime Minister Morrison wrote,

"The government's view is clear: criminalisation of consensual same-sex relationships is unacceptable. We believe in equal human rights for LGBTI persons and an end to violence and discrimination against LGBTI across the region and globally."
[The full text of Mr Morrison's letter is attached]

Mr Croome said,

"I welcome Mr Morrison's strong condemnation of the brutal new anti-LGBTI laws that have been enacted in Brunei." 

"When the Australian Prime Minister speaks out, and when there is unanimous condemnation of Brunei's brutal laws across the political aisle, it sends a very strong message to the Brunei Government."

"My hope is that there will be continued condemnation of the repressive Brunei laws by the Australian Government, regardless of who wins the May 18 election."

"If Brunei doesn't change course, the Australian Government should cease diplomatic ties with Brunei, cease using services owned by the Brunei Government and move to have it suspended from the Commonwealth."

A protest against the new Brunei laws will take place at 1pm tomorrow (Saturday April 13th) in the City Botanic Gardens opposite the Brunei-owned Royal on the Park Hotel, 152 Alice Street, Brisbane. 

A copy of Mr Morrison's letter is attached, and a copy of Mr Croome's letter is below.

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.
For more information about the Brisbane rally contact Peter Hackney on 0400 468 377.

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

Original letter to Mr Morrison, sent on April 3rd when Brunei's new laws came into effect:

Rodney Croome AM
South Hobart, Tas., 7004
0409 010 668

Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
C/o Parliament House
Canberra, ACT, 2600

Re: Australian Government action on repressive laws in Brunei

Dear Prime Minister,

From today the law of Brunei punishes partners in same-sex relationships with a range of penalties from whipping and gaol through to death by stoning.

As you can imagine, this is causing great distress to LGBTIQ people in Brunei and around the world. 

Not only do we fear for those who might be punished under this abominable law, we also fear it sets a precedent for other countries to enact more repressive laws, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking personally, as someone who grew up under anti-gay criminal laws in Tasmania and campaigned successfully to change those laws, it is deeply demoralising for me to see Brunei turning back the clock.

But my hope is that we as a nation will not settle for this terrible situation. 

I urge your Government to speak out against the new law in Brunei through all international channels available to you.

When you do, you will not only be speaking for LGBTIQ Australians, but for the majority of Australians who value fairness and dignity. 

I took heart when, in a recent address responding to the Christchurch massacres, you explicitly defined the Australian family to include LGBTIQ people.

I believe the enormity of the situation in Brunei requires a similar gesture of support to LGBTIQ people suffering in that country. 

Thank you for your time and best wishes,
Rodney Croome AM