On the eve of the 2021 Mardi Gras parade, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Equality Australia have announced a partnership working together to advance equality for LGBTIQ+ people.
The partnership will include joint campaigns and regular engagement to maximise the ability of the LGBTIQ+ community, and our allies, to stand up and show their commitment to LGBTIQ+ equality, not only on one special night of the year – but everywhere, every day.
In recognition of this year’s season theme of ‘rise’, the first action encourages people to ‘rise for equality’ by simply signing a personal pledge that will connect them with us, and thousands of others, giving them the opportunity to take action on pressing issues for our community throughout the year.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said:
“This partnership reaffirms our commitment to equality and inclusion, no matter who you are or whom you love. Mardi Gras was founded by brave protesters in 1978 and has grown to become one of the world’s most iconic LGBTIQ arts and cultural festivals culminating (in non-COVID times) in a giant street parade.
“Our vision is not only for LGBTIQ+ people to feel included and affirmed on one magical night a year. We want to encourage and engage our members and supporters to rise for equality all year round. This partnership will help us do that.”
Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said:
“At Equality Australia, we see the demand for equality every day. We see it when a private school can lawfully fire a teacher because she’s a lesbian. We see it when Service NSW will not issue a corrected ID document to a trans person without first requiring invasive surgery. We see it when people born with intersex variations have no say in surgery that seeks to conform their bodies to someone else’s vision for them. We see it when LGBTQ+ people are made to change or suppress who they are in harmful conversion practices, which are still legal in most states. These are some of the pressing issues for our communities today.
But like we saw when Equality Australia helped lead the YES campaign for marriage equality, we can achieve great things when we rise for equality, together. This partnership will amplify the voice of our communities, helping to realise in our workplaces, schools and communities throughout the year that special spirit of inclusion and connection we feel at Mardi Gras.”
In recognition of these pressing issues, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Equality Australia invite others to sign the pledge they have made to:
- Rise for laws that protect all of us, equally
- Rise for transgender equality and laws that recognise us for who we are
- Rise for intersex equality, and laws that respect all our bodies and our right to decide what happens to them
- Rise for survivors of conversion practices, and communities that welcome and affirm all of us
- Rise for equality, for all of us, no matter who we are or whom we love.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) is one of the oldest continuously operating LGBTIQ+ organisations in Australia. SGLMG was built on the foundations laid by early community activists who fought for LGBTIQ+ rights in a time of wide-spread, institutionalised oppression and discrimination. From these origins, SGLMG has evolved to include a strong focus on celebration while maintaining a commitment to social justice for LGBTQI+ communities.
Equality Australia, borne out of the ‘yes’ campaign for marriage equality, now works to ensure equality for LGBTIQ+ people and their families. Equality Australia works with affected communities to redress LGBTIQ+ discrimination by faith-based bodies, end LGBTQ+ conversion practices, ensure trans and gender diverse people are legally recognised as who they are, and ensure people born with intersex variations can decide for themselves what happens to their bodies.