The Darwin Pride Festival continues tonight with a public forum organised by community group, Rainbow Territory.
It will be attended by the Northern Territory’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Sally Sievers.
The festival, a week-long annual event for Darwin’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community, included a mass commitment ceremony, history walks and a cycling event.
Ms Sievers said she hoped tonight’s forum would help the Anti-Discrimination Commission get a better picture of everyday issues effecting the LGBTQIA community that might need to be legally addressed in the Territory.
“As Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, I know what the issues are, but how do they impact on people’s day to day lives?” she said.
“I don’t think we’ve got a really good picture on what the real issues are for our community.”
Yesterday, Pride Ride organiser Phoenix Smith led about 70 people on bicycles, roller blades and skateboards from Darwin’s northern suburbs to the city.
“We’re here to support all members of our community … all kinds of sexual and gender orientations,” Ms Smith told 105.7 ABC Darwin.
“We’re all a big part of the beautiful Darwin family and we’re all great members of this community spreading some love today.”
After arriving in Civic Park, Pride Ride participants were greeted with a festival that included a mass marriage commitment ceremony.
Daniel Alderman and David McMicken, a Darwin couple who have been together for 15 years, were one of seven LGBTQIA couples that made public commitments to each other.
“It’s to highlight the fact that we should be equal under the laws. It’s just one area that we don’t have full equality,” Mr Alderman said.
“(Not being able to be legally wed) constantly makes you feel that you’re not important enough.
“You’re allowed to do all sorts of things. You’re allowed to vote and go to war but you can’t make a legally binding commitment to the person that you love.”
Mr McMicken said he hoped the mass commitment ceremony would help people understand that there is “nothing to be afraid of” when same-sex couples committed to each other.