NSW Police uninvited from Sydney Mardi Gras parade

mardi gras agm sydney mardi gras parade

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has disinvited the NSW Police from marching in Saturday’s Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

A NSW Police spokesperson described the organisation as disappointed by the decision.

“The NSW Police Force has been advised that the board of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras decided to withdraw the invitation … to participate in this year’s event.

“While disappointed with this outcome, NSW Police will continue to work closely with the LGBTIQA+ community and remain committed to working with organisers to provide a safe environment for all those participating in and supporting this Saturday’s parade.”

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told the Daily Telegraph the decision left her disappointed and dismayed.

“We are humans, we are representative of the community we serve, and so we should be there.

“Conversations we’ve been having are around the underreporting of crimes in the queer community. How is this going to help that?”

NSW Police first joined the parade twenty years ago. But the findings of the inquiry into gay hate crimes raised questions about ongoing discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people by NSW Police. Many perceived Sunday morning’s apology by Commissioner Karen Webb as inadequate.

Additionally, the alleged murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies at the hands of a gay police officer has prompted widespread speculation about the wisdom of including the police in community events.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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  1. David Laws
    27 February 2024

    The performance of police at the inquiry into the recent gay hate crimes should have seen police in uniform, representing the Police organisation, permanently uninvited from the MG parade
    The strip searching of children by police should see police permanently uninvited from the MG parade.
    MG board says community is grieving. We are. And we grieve for those treated with disdain by police as recently as the gay hate inquiry.
    No more using MG to pinkwash police disregard for our community. The Police organisation is not our friends, whether the police people themselves are gay or allies.

  2. Matt White
    27 February 2024

    The police being uninvited is a decision that personally I think that creates division

    For a community we only want inclusion, acceptance and equality – what we have done now is not show inclusion by uninviting them.

    We shouldn’t tarnish the whole police force with the same brush we don’t want tarnished upon ourselves as a group collectively.

    I am sure the decision wasn’t made lightly, however any LGBTQIA+ police officer would be grieving – along with the rest of us – and to deny them to participate in MG, is just wrong.

    How many times have we felt excluded – yet we do the same to the police.

    Yes the past police involvement has had some negative things associated

    However – if this was a cook who did this, would we then ban all chefs from marching?

    1 persons actions cannot and should not tarnish a group – just the same as any negative aspect of a LGBTQIA+ single person should not collectively involve the rest of us

  3. Scott R
    27 February 2024

    To me, this is a very narrow minded decision. All the work that has gone on over the years to break down barriers, to now have them bricked back up by the LGBTQI+ community is a massive mistake.

  4. Mark
    28 February 2024

    This was a disgusting and a decision may cause more division. This was not a crime committed by the police officer but a gay man against gay men, a domestic voilent act. Until the Police force is invited to march, i and my parnter (a 78er) will never attend the Mardi Gras events. Maybe a public protest of police uniforms wore by attendees it a way to get the idea across to the out of touch board.

  5. Dan
    28 February 2024

    I’ve been to 20 Mardi Gras, my first was in 1989.
    I worked in many gay venues in Sydney in the 90’s & I was stabbed multiple times in an attack leaving my work in a gay bar.
    I recently appeared as a witness at the special commission for gay hate crime.
    Not just for my attack but for those I saw in the area & that staggered into my bars broken & bloodied.

    The police should protect the event but not participate in it.
    We originally marched with our whistles to protest the violence on our community & much of that was by the police.
    They murdered us, they bashed us, they robbed us, the made us perform sex acts on them or get into deeper trouble with the law on trumped up charges.

    As representatives of the establishment the police should never have been invited into a March protesting against the establishment.
    That’s ludicrous!

    You can’t “Police wash” decades of violence & inaction from the police themselves.
    The NSW police commissioner stating they should be allowed in the March makes me angry.

    Just having the police March in the past has triggered members of our community that have suffered at the hands of police

    Yes we should have good relations with the police but staring in our events is a step too far
    The police should do the job that they are employed to do “serve & protect! as they haven’t earned any rights of privileges to star in our community events.

  6. Stephen Hughes
    2 March 2024

    It will take me some time to prosess the Police Commissioners remarks. I’m an accredited’78er, and worked in an IT role with NSPOLICE for about 20 years. In short, a nightmare from start to finish.

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