NOVEMBER 12 2016 – 11:54PM
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not be welcome as an official guest of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras under a motion passed at the organisation’s annual general meeting on Saturday.
In March, Mr Turnbull became the first sitting Australian prime minister to attend the event. But activists angered by his support of a divisive plebiscite on same-sex marriage say he should not be invited in 2017.
Cat Rose and Patrick White, of Sydney-based activist group Community Action Against Homophobia, brought forward the motion to say Mr Turnbull was not welcome as an official guest while he “denied equality” to the LGBTIQ community.
“We ask the Board to act in accordance with this position and issue a public statement as it applies to the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the 2017 Mardi Gras parade and does not invite him as an official guest to the parade,” the motion read.
The board still has to consider the motion, which was passed 75-63. Ms Rose said she expected the board’s support.
“The reason against it was given as: does Mardi Gras ever uninvite anyone?” Ms Rose said. “We put the argument that it’s the prime minister of Australia, and he’s really used and abused our community.”
Ms Rose criticised Mr Turnbull for appearing at this year’s parade for a “photo opportunity”, only to bring “even more homophobic attacks in the form of the plebiscite”.
Mr Turnbull had no comment on the motion, but he has previously given a spirited defence of the proposed plebiscite, which was formally killed off in the Senate on Monday night.
Introducing the plebiscite bill in September, Mr Turnbull said marriage equality was “a big moral issue” best decided by a public vote.
“It is an issue of conscience for millions of Australians,” he said. “If ever there is an issue to be put to a plebiscite, this is one that can and should be, because it is a very straightforward question.”
Following the plebiscite’s defeat, Mr Turnbull said on Friday there were “no plans to take any other measures on this issue”.
Source : The Canberra Times