The state government has been asked to contribute $100,000 to help improve and promote support services for LGBTI Tasmanians during the plebiscite.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the request for support follows the Victorian government providing $1 million for the LGBTI community in response to likely hate campaigns in the lead up to the marriage postal vote.
"It's already hard enough for young LGBTI Tasmanians coming to terms with who they are without the additional burden of suffering through the hate campaigns we are likely to see during the marriage equality postal vote,” Mr Croome said.
"The hate campaigns elicited by the postal vote will be just as damaging in Tasmania as in Victoria so we urge the Tasmanian Government to follow the Victorian Government's lead and provide funding for support services."
"We have already had productive discussions with the Tasmania Police about ensuring they are accessible to LGBTI people experiencing hate crime, but a properly resourced, whole-of-government strategy is required."
Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine said police promote respect, equality and inclusion of all members of the community.
“We recognise that attention and debate around the upcoming vote on same sex marriage may cause some LGBTI people to be feeling vulnerable,” he said.
“We work closely with the LGBTI community and want to reassure LGBTI people that Tasmania Police officers are committed to supporting them if they need our assistance.
“We encourage all members of the community to maintain respectful behaviour.
“Tasmania Police recognises that LGBTI people can be reluctant to come forward to seek help. We have trained LGBTI liaison officers to provide advice and assistance. They can be contacted via the Police Assistance Line 131 444.
Mr Croome said the figure of $100,000 is a pro rata equivalent to the Victorian Government's commitment of $1 million.
The Victorian Government's commitment will including a boost for counselling services, community events and materials promoting mental health resilience.
- LGBTI people who experience bullying, discrimination or harassment can also report it to Equal Opportunity Tasmania (the office of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner) on 1300 305 062 or through the Equal Opportunity Tasmania website at www.equalopportunity.tas.gov.au/home