Aussie Prime Minister not welcome at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

The organisers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras say they don’t want Prime Minster Malcom Turnbull at next year’s parade.

On Saturday, the iconic event held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and passed a motion criticising Turnbull for his role in delaying same-sex marriage in Australia.

The motion reads: “The AGM of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras does not believe that a Prime Minister who denies us equality should be welcome as an official guest at our parade.

“We ask the Board to act in accordance with this position and issue a public statement as it applies to the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the 2017 Mardi Gras parade and does not invite him as an official guest to the parade.”

While Turnbull has expressed his personal support for marriage equality, he has refused to allow MPs to vote on the issue and instead tried to impose an expensive and divisive plebiscite on the public to decide on the matter.

The move was criticised by LGBTI rights activists as an unnecessary and dangerous exercise that could incite homophobia and hate and was ultimately blocked by opponents in parliament.

A network of more than 90 LGBTI organisations and leaders have signed a statement expressing their relief that parliament voted down the plebiscite.

The groups pointed out that an overwhelming majority of Australians and a majority of both houses of parliament and leaders of all major parties support marriage equality.

They urged parliament to legalise same-sex marriage before finishing its current session in December.

“We call on the leaders of all the parties to meet to determine a way forward that will deliver marriage equality through a parliamentary vote as soon as possible in line with the wishes of the Australian people and the majority of members of parliament,” they said.

In March, around 300,000 people watched the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade; which was made up 178 floats and 12,500 participants.

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