Albanese becomes first Australian PM to march in Mardi Gras parade
Sydney, Australia, Feb 25 (EFE).- Anthony Albanese became Australia’s first prime minister to march in Sydney’s 45th gay and lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday.
Under the motto “Gather, dream, amplify” thousands took to the streets as 200 floats traveled through Sydney for the well-known LGBTQI+ rights parade.
“This is a celebration of modern Australia,” Albanese told the crowd.
“People want to see that their government is inclusive and represents everyone no matter who they love, no matter what their identity, no matter where they live,” Albanese added.
In 2016, former Liberal PM Malcolm Turnbull became the first Australian premier to witness the Sydney Mardi Gras event, but he did not march during the parade.
Seven years later, Albanese became the first PM to join the party and march with crowds of rainbow-clad revelers at the Labor Party float.
Although Albanese’s participation has been received positively by most, his involvement in the gay rights event has sparked criticism among Australia’s most conservative factions.
One of his fiercest critics, former deputy prime minister and former leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, this week denied claims made by an ABC host who said the politician had used an “effeminate voice” when attacking Alabenese over his intention to march at the event.
A WorldPride mural in Sydney this week was defaced by vandals with white paint and the words “leave the kids alone,” after the arwork had sparked the criticism of many locals.
The mural in York Street featured a man in leather bondage with a teddy bear head, lying on a couch with a pride flag and beer can.
The Mardi Gras parade has been running since 1978 and first emerged as way to honor the Stonewall Riots – a series of protests by members of the gay community in New York in 1969.
Sydney is getting ready to host this year’s WorldPride which will include around 300 events and will end with a huge march on March 5.
Australia legalized gay marriage in 2017 and progress has been made on many fronts, although discrimination against the minority group persists. EFE