Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has scrapped a plan which would have seen the monument lit up with rainbow lights in a move to specifically commemorate LGBTQ+ personnel.
The planned light display for Sunday evening was cancelled after public backlash.
The light display, along with a Last Post service, were set to launch the Shrine’s “Defending With Pride” exhibition.
However, on Saturday the Shrine’s Chief Exeutive, Dean Lee, released a statement revealing that the decision to go ahead with the rainbow illumination had been cancelled.
“Over several days, our staff have received — and been subject to — sustained abuse and, in some cases, threats,” said the statement.
The Shrine’s year-long LGBTQ+ pride installation, however, will still go ahead.
Speaking on the weekend, Victoria’s Deputy Premier, Jacinta Allan described the decision to not go ahead with the light display as “very disappointing”.
“It is disappointing that the Shrine of Remembrance have had to make this decision – and the decision is a matter for them,” said Ms Allan.
“And, I think it’s important to note that the first ever exhibition, and associated events and activities around that… are going to still happen today.”
Police were called to the Shrine on Sunday after tensions boiled over at a wreath-laying ceremony .
A group of protestors turned their backs on the ceremony, expressing their opposition to the Shrine being used as a political tool.
Following the decision to cancel the light display, conservative commentator Cory Bernardi tweeted: “Good they have cancelled this political stunt but terrible judgment to give in to the alphabet mafia in the first place.”
Liberal MP, Tim Smith tweeted: “The Shrine should never be used for woke virtue signalling. This is a sensible decision because the Shrine should only ever be about one thing – remembering the fallen & those who served Australia in war – regardless of race, sexuality, religion etc.”
It’s been revealed that the RSL was not consulted regarding the decision to light the Shrine in rainbow colours.
The Age is reporting, many RSL members considered the gesture to be inappropriate.
A rainbow flag is now flying alongside the Australian flag at the Shrine.