08 May 2014
(Community Recognition Statement, 7 May 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
It is with great sadness that I inform the House of the passing of Lex Watson, one of the great elders of Sydney's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community.
In 1972 Lex was elected as one of the first co-presidents of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution [CAMP], which started the LGBTI rights movement in Australia. For more than 40 years Lex has been active with LGBTI law reform, health and welfare advocacy. He co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby in 1980 and was instrumental in the formation of Sydney's AIDS Action Committee and became the first president of the AIDS Council of NSW when it was established in 1985. Because of the hard work, courage and bravery of Lex, Sydney is a safer and fairer place for the LGBTI community. It will be a fitting tribute to Lex that this year our Parliament will soon debate legislation to expunge the criminal records of gay men unfairly charged with sodomy and buggery prior to decriminalisation. On behalf of the Sydney electorate I express condolences to his family, friends, and Sydney's LGBTI community.