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Australian Mardi Gras considering banning prime minister Scott Morrison for having ‘backwards’ stance on LGBT rights

Josh Milton November 21, 2019
WorldPride 2023 Sydney

Participants during the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. (James D. Morgan/Getty)

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is set to vote on whether to ban prime minister Scott Morrison from attending.

Blossoming from LGBT+ rights protests in the late 70s, the festival has become a major tourist drawcard for the Australian city.

But this year, organisers’ unease over the country’s conservative leader has translated into deciding whether to bar Morrison from Mardi Gras altogether as well as blocking police floats, The New Daily reported.

Several hundred Mardi Gras members will debate the motion to rescind the Liberal Party leader’s invite on 30 November.

Mardi Gras members consider uninviting Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison didn’t make last year’s festivities, but former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull did.

He attended with his wife Lucy after moving to legalise marriage equality in 2017.

Pride in Protest, an activists collective, have four candidates running to put forward the motion to the Mardi Gras Annual General Meeting this year.

“[The motion] really is about sending a message that we’re not being complacent with the government that has shown us so much continual harm and oppression,” Pride in Protest member Charlie Murphy said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

Murphy stressed that the trans community has been impacted by Morrison’s administration, who feel “completely vilified”.

A sore spot for LGBT+ activists in Australia has been the Pentecostal minister’s spotty and at times sluggish track record with the community.

The 51-year-old only this year publicly support same-sex marriage.

While he was caught in a chorus of criticism for a tweet calling trans-friendly teachers “gender whisperers” in 2018.

Australia’s biggest queer festival may ban police floats next year.

Another motion calls for the New South Wales Police Force, Australian Federal Police and other police bodies to be barred from having floats in next year’s parade.

“First Nations people, Aboriginal people, really anyone who’s in a marginalised community that has been vilified or oppressed by the police,” Murphy explained.

“How are they supposed to feel safe when Mardi Gras essentially gives them tacit consent by allowing their float or for them to march in uniform in the parade.”

Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board on Thursday said it has a responsibility to consider motions by its members.

“This year’s AGM will consider motions on everything from the pricing of membership to political issues,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“These motions and the surrounding debate are displays of the strength and diversity of Mardi Gras and our community, and it is a diversity that we are proud to nurture and celebrate.”

 

 

More: Australia, mardi gras, scott morrison, Sydney

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