FIRST there were nuclear-free zones, then alcohol-free zones. Now Sydney is set to introduce “homophobia-free zones”.
In an Australian-first, City of Sydney council is moving to single out parts of the city for a crackdown on homophobic behaviour.
The policy is still being finalised but Oxford St, as well as parts of Darlinghurst, King St, Newtown and Erskineville Rd, Erskineville will be recognised by the council as gay and lesbian precincts.
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The move, passed by a vote of five to four, could allow City of Sydney Council to revoke late-night trading privileges for venues if their patrons commit homophobic abuse or violence, and require venues to include anti-homophobia measures in staff training and patron management.
Local businesses will be encouraged to use signs and stickers to declare their premises homophobia free.
The council will to consult with police, the Aids Council of NSW and other community groups to develop the strategy.