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Sydney Mardi Gras reverses decision to ban Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from parade

Rachael Fulton December 1, 2016

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has overturned a previous decision to ban Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from the 2017 parade.

The Mardi Gras Board has deemed the motion to ban Turnbull is not ‘in accordance with the objectives of the Mardi Gras constitution, to build strong, positive and beneficial relationships between the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and intersex with the wider community.’

Turnbull faced a ban from next year’s festivities when The Mardi Gras membership put forward a motion at its November AGM, saying the group ‘does not believe that a Prime Minister who denies us equality should be welcome as an official guest at our parade.’

The membership’s decision was based around the Coalition government’s inaction on marriage equality, but the organisation’s board has refused to enforce the ban on these grounds – instead opting to promote inclusion within the LGBTQi+ and wider Sydney community.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the board at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras promoted an open dialogue between the LGBTQi+ community and Australian political parties.

The board stated that the 2017 festival would also include the chance to highlight debates, campaigns and opinions about the advancement of same-sex marriage in Australia, along with other issues pertinent to the LGBTQi community.

“Sometimes our LGBTIQ communities unite with a single message,” the statement said.

“At other times it is clear we don’t all speak with one voice. Mardi Gras will continue to provide a platform for the diverse voices in our community to be heard.”

Turnbull was the first sitting Australian Prime Minister to attend the Sydney Mardi Gras parade in 2016 and was a frequent attendee as a local federal member.

More: Australia, Australian Prime Minister, mardi gras, marriage equality, parade, Politics, same-sex marraige, sydney mardi gras

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