Mardi Gras tells MPs to pass Equality Bill or get out of Parade


NSW Premier Chris Minns against a Mardi Gras Parade backdrop
Images: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, NSW Government/Facebook

The Sydney Mardi Gras board has told NSW MPs they will no longer be welcome at the Parade if they oppose Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s Equality Bill.

The independent MP introduced the wide-ranging Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill last year.

The omnibus bill contains a raft of discrimination-busting amendments. The reforms, if passed, would finally improve a range of state laws that are some of the worst in the country for LGBTQIA+ people.

‘Support must exist all year round’

In a new letter to state Labor and Liberal MPs, Mardi Gras’ board says its members have voted overwhelmingly in support of passing the bill.

Now Mardi Gras and its members want MPs to do the same.

“Our communities face ongoing systemic discrimination. Much of this is enacted through legislation that has facilitated and encouraged such behaviours,” Mardi Gras writes.

“The legacy of such legislation continues to be pervasive, limiting the ability for LGBTQIA+ people to fully and safely participate in society.”

The letter explains Mardi Gras members backed a motion declaring “any parliamentarian who votes against this bill shouldn’t participate in the Parade or seek promotion through materials [at] Fair Day”.

“Our legislators’ support for Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ constituents must exist year-round. Not just on days of celebration and pride,” the letter reads.

“Our community is large and diverse. The annual Sydney Mardi Gras Festival is a powerful chance to reach our communities to demonstrate allyship.

“Those who choose to take part in our events of safety, celebration and protest, should also support us in their roles as elected leaders.”

Pride in Protest says queer community ‘will not be tokenised’

A NSW parliamentary committee has looked at the Equality Bill. The committee’s crucial report, due today, will make recommendations on what to do with it.

Activist group Pride in Protest have pushed for Mardi Gras to give MPs this ultimatum.

On Thursday (June 6), NSW Premier Chris Minns (pictured above) will give an apology for historical laws that criminalised homosexuality.

Pride in Protest’s Rohen Snowball said they will not allow MPs to “tokenise” the queer community.

“If the government won’t show up for us by passing the bill, then we will protest,” Snowball said.

And if the committee rejects the bill, Pride in Protest have declared they “will protest the apology this Thursday”.

“We will keep protesting if they turn up at Fair Day and the parade,” Rohen said.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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

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