Albanese to become first sitting PM to march in the Mardi Gras parade

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will become the first sitting Prime Minister to march in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

The PM will join other Labor MPs, including Penny Wong, when the iconic parade returns to Oxford Street next month as part of Sydney WorldPride celebrations.

In 2016 Malcolm Turnbull attended the event when he was Prime Minister, but he did not march in the parade. The same year Bill Shorten took part in the parade making him the first leader of a major political party to take part in the march.

“I’ll be the first prime minister not to watch the march on Mardi Gras, but to march,” Albanese said on Saturday as he opened a new Pride Square in the heart of Newtown in Sydney’s inner-west.

The Prime Minister told the crowd his government was committed to removing inequality on the basis of people’s sexuality or gender identity.

“We speak a lot about tolerance – and tolerance is really important – but this is about a step that is way more important than tolerance,” he said. “We need to celebrate our diversity, not just tolerate it, because our diversity is what gives our society strength.”

The Prime Minister also encouraged members of the LGBTIQA+ communities to actively campaign in favour of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The PM said people needed to do more than just vote Yes on polling day, comparing the upcoming referendum to the experience of the postal survey on marriage equality.

“Speak to your neighbours, speak to your friends, speak to people in your organisations, in your community and in others and campaign to make sure that we get this done,” he said.

“Because this will be critical – it’s about how a country progresses.” Albanese said.

In 2022, National LGBTQIA advocates laid out what they hope to see from the Albanese Government following Labor’s federal election win.

In the lead up to the election campaign, Labor had removed references to LGBTQIA+ communities from their platform, and ditched the portfolio for Shadow Minister for Equality.

OIP Staff

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