ALNSW, the animal rights group refused a permit to participate in
2010, at last year’s parade.

The organisers of one of the world’s biggest gay events are under fire for allegedly selling out the gay community to corporate interests.

There’s been growing debate over a number of incidents cited as examples of the “corporatisation” of the Sidney Mardi Gras, also known as New Mardi Gras (NMG), in recent weeks.

Earlier this month an animal rights group was refused an application to take part in the parade because the organisation isn’t “queer enough”, even though it change its float’s name to “Sydney Queers for Animal Rights” and committed to ensuring that the majority of its participants would be gay.

This despite a revelation by the Australian The Scavenger website that in 2008, straight actors were hired to take part in a float for IKEA, the international furniture retailer.

In addition, a number of large “straight” corporates, such as a bank and a television broadcaster, have been allowed to take part in the 2010 festival and parade.

There have been further claims that this year’s parade was moved by a week to accommodate the needs of a major sponsor.

A gay publication, the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Visitors’ Guide, has also reportedly been barred from the event because of an exclusive deal between the organisers and another sponsor.

“The result is a parade that’s little more than a shopfront for corporations chasing the pink dollar, and those select queer groups who get the tick of approval from our self-appointed Gay Government, the ranks of which are made up of unelected ‘politicians’ from NMG and other ‘gaystream’ organisations,” said journalists Peter Hackney, writing in The Scavanger.

The Queerty website however, dismissed these concerns: “Rather than get upset about IKEA hiring possibly non-gay actors, why not celebrate the fact that IKEA is spending money to court our very desirable community? Or that gay pride parades are, in fact, inclusive events, and we welcome our straight allies?

“Let’s enjoy our gay pride celebrations this summer, and not get too torn up over corporate sponsors that make it all possible,” the site added.

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