Mardi Gras Board decision on AGM motion

An update from the Board of
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

The Board of Directors of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has determined at a recent meeting to not adopt a motion put forward from the floor at the Annual General Meeting on 16 November 2016.

The motion was:

"The AGM of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras does not believe that a Prime Minister who denies us equality should be welcome as an official guest at our parade. 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 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 constitution to "build strong, positive and beneficial relationships between the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and intersex with the wider community."

The board are committed to finding ways to engage with our members and communities to develop a stronger voice on issues that matter to all of us. Since the AGM, Mardi Gras staff and Board members have heard a wide range of feedback about the motion. We were grateful to hear opinions from many of our members and from the broader community.

The Board understands members’ concerns about the issue of marriage equality being politicised by the majority parties, to the detriment of the emotional state and wellbeing of our community. As a cornerstone cultural event in Sydney, Mardi Gras values the healthy dialogue we create with a broad spectrum of political parties. During our 2017 Festival we will provide many opportunities to host and highlight debates, campaigns and opinions about the way forward for achieving marriage equality among many other topics related to LGBTIQ lives, culture and rights.

Sometimes our LGBTIQ communities unite with a single message. At other times it is clear we don’t all speak with one voice. Mardi Gras will continue to provide a platform for the diverse voices in our community to be heard.