Anthony Albanese becomes the first sitting Australian Prime Minister to march at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras when he takes part in the World Pride Festival parade.
The prime minister said she will be joined by Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the first openly gay woman in parliament, when she attends an event in late February.
“I will be the first prime minister to march without seeing a Mardi Gras march,” he told the crowd at the official opening of Pride Square in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west.
In 2016, Malcolm Turnbull became the first sitting Prime Minister to attend the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but did not participate in the parade.
That year, then-opposition leader Bill Shorten became the first federal leader of a major political party to participate in the march.
Albanese said Saturday that his government is committed to removing inequalities based on sexuality and people’s identities.
“We talk a lot about tolerance, but tolerance is very important, but this is a much more important step than tolerance,” he said.
“We must not only embrace diversity, we must celebrate it, because it is our diversity that empowers our societies.”
Albanese paid tribute to gay rights protesters in 1978, many of whom were arrested when the first parade on Oxford Street in Sydney disbanded.
Since then, the annual Sydney March has grown into one of the largest LGBTQI festivals in the world.
This year, 12,500 marchers are expected to attend as the parade becomes part of the 17-day World Pride Festival.
Albanese said Australia could become “the lighthouse of the world”, a place where everyone is respected and celebrated regardless of their beliefs, sexuality or ethnicity.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/people/2023/02/11/albanese-mardi-gras-parade/ Albanians make history in Mardi Gras march