The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras announced yesterday that despite a motion passed at its AGM last month, it will not be uninviting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from the annual parade in 2017. Although it was reported that Turnbull had been banned from the event, the motion passed (with the help of one member in attendance holding 48 proxy votes) stated that Turnbull should not be an “official guest” of the parade. In preparation for the festival’s program launch today, the board made a statement that it had decided not to adopt the motion, which was not binding. “The majority Board decision determined that the motion as put to the meeting was not in accordance with the objectives of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras constituion to ‘build positive and beneficial relationships between the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and interses with the wider community’.”

As reported by Crikey at the time, the board also had to deal with the way in which the motion could be seen to politicise the event. A source had told Ms Tips that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had been considering participating in the parade in an official capacity for the first time in 2017, but put the plans on ice after the motion was passed. We understand that Mardi Gras organisers have since given strong commitments to government departments considering being involved in the parade that the event was a non-partisan occasion.

Peter Fray

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