Life Next year’s Mardi Gras: Turnbull is out

Next year’s Mardi Gras: Turnbull is out

Mardi Gras
Raining on the parade: Don't expect to see PM Malcolm Turnbull at the 2017 Mardi Gras.
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Organisers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have passed a motion to publicly declare that Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is not welcome as a guest at next year’s parade.

The organisers made the decision at their annual general meeting, based on Mr Turnbull’s support of the controversial same-sex marriage plebiscite, which was defeated in the Senate during the week.

The mover of the motion, Cat Rose, of Sydney-based activist group Community Action Against Homophobia, said Mr Turnbull was not welcome as an official guest while he “denied equality” to the LGBTIQ community.

In March, Mr Turnbull became the first sitting Australian prime minister to attend the event, but ms Rose said he had “hijacked” the event and simply used it as “a photo opportunity”.

But the PM can still turn up at the world famous celebration of gay pride, which is held each year in his electorate, and mingle with the crowd.

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,” Mr Turnbull 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”.