Brian Greig on the ‘disinviting’ of NSW Police

disinvited from mardi gras

Former federal senator and veteran LGBTI advocate Brian Greig on the ‘disinviting’ of NSW Police from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

For those who don’t live in Sydney, yesterday’s announcement that NSW police will be barred from marching in the Mardi Gras this year must seem baffling.

How does the tragic murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies justify the Mardi Gras Board in “disinviting” the police contingent? Are police responsible for the murder? Was this a hate crime?


Historical hate crimes

There are deeper issues here to be sure. A recent inquiry into historical hate crimes against LGBTI people in NSW uncovered some ugly truths and illustrated some police obfuscation in coming forward with details.

But this doesn’t explain the emotional reaction to these murders and the Mardi Gras ruling.

These deaths have caused a visceral reaction because they shatter the narrative. The Sydney-bubble narrative that it is a utopia for gays, where you can be young, beautiful, successful,

Instagramable, in love and blissfully happy.

These murders killed that Bambi.

These murders reminded everyone that it can all be stripped away suddenly. That the illusion is shallow.

That for all the attitudinal changes and law reforms, the Sydney model of delirious gaydom can be torn down in seconds. That your very safety and security is just a borrowed gun away. And it hides on the smile of a young lover, who himself was part of the Sydney dream as an out gay cop.

Worst anti-LGBTI laws in the country

NSW has the worst anti-LGBTI laws in the country. Despite all the Mardi Gras hype and World Pride bullshit, LGBTI people in NSW largely have the weakest legal protection (or no protections), in the country. It is not a gay utopia, it’s a basket case. Posthumous poster boys like Jesse and Luke can no longer hide that.

As the plebiscite on marriage quality showed, NSW produced the deepest NO vote in the greatest number of seats. It has the most anti-gay clerics and MPs within both the Liberal and Labor parties.

Even the inquiry into hate crimes was itself a deflection from deeply needed law reform in other areas.

But the core problem in NSW, within the LGBTI elites who control and manipulate inner city politics, is that they are so often compromised by government funding and political connections to the ALP that they cannot or will not speak out.

Instead, they involve themselves in the creative inertia of inquiries, research and surveys into LGBTI discrimination. Anything other than a concerted campaign on law reform – that would require putting real critical pressure on the government. They won’t do it.

So within this pressure cooker of anger, frustration, disillusionment, inaction and distraction, how does the Sydney LGBTI community express outrage over chronic, systemic discrimination?

It blames the police.

LGBTI domestic violence

Sadly, the underlying story here – one of LGBTI domestic violence – is lost in the howls of pain and anguish from the LGBTI community trying to make sense of all this but looking in the wrong direction.

If there is anything positive to salvage from this tragic tale, it’s these two things.

1.) Same-sex couples can and do experience domestic violence, and just like other forms of DV, can be very reluctant to come forward. Often for understandable reasons. These tragic murders must be used to highlight this, and look to solutions.

2.) Substantive law reform is required in NSW across a range of LGBTI fronts, and both the LGBTI community and the state Labor government must confront this.

As for the police in Mardi Gras, I think they should march. We must build bridges with the various arms of government, not burn them down. If nothing else, we owe that to the many LGBTI police officers who are there to make a difference. And they can. If there is no engagement, there is no progress.

And on this, parliament must lead.

In the meantime, the Mardi Gras Board might be wise to capitalise on the media intensity around this issue and ensure that the very first float to move down Oxford Street this Saturday is one that draws attention to domestic violence. Not just in our community, but all communities.

Police find bodies of couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

NSW Police uninvited from Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

Manhunt for missing couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies

Beau Lamarre-Condon charged with couple’s murder

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service.

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Chat online via their website, or text 0458 737 732.

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Brian Greig

Brian Andrew Greig OAM is a former Australian politician. Grieg was an Australian Democrats member of the Australian Senate from 1999 to 2005, representing the state of Western Australia. A spokesperson for Just Equal Australia,

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia


  1. Jefferson G
    28 February 2024

    I believe that Mardi Gras did not bar the police they respectfully asked the police to not march in their uniforms this year. I believe this is justified as the Australian queer communities are in morning right before the celebration

  2. David Laws
    28 February 2024

    Along with all you said, I do blame the police Brian.
    Their behaviour at the Inquiry into Hate crimes is enough for the police organisation to be permanently barred from parading. The didnt just obsfucate, they were exoriated by the judge for their behaviour. Nothings changed and all the weasel words by the commissioner and Minns changes that..

    Is there NOTHING the police organisation can do that would see them barred from the parade? The tragic answer seems to be No, there isnt.
    Fuck them.

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