Back in October, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board member James Brechney called for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to be formally uninvited from the 2017 Mardi Gras Parade.
Shortly afterwards, a censure motion was put forward against Brechney and ultimately passed, only fuelling Brechney’s desire to continue seeking Turnbull’s official expulsion from the parade.
Brechney took to Medium to pen a response to his censure, saying: “At a recent Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) Marriage Equality Rally, I was asked to speak candidly about the state of Marriage Equality in Australia and my sheer disappointment in the leadership of this nation, on both sides of the aisle. Ten minutes, or so, in, I mentioned an idea that had popped into my head and stated I would take to the next Board meeting. The idea being that we should uninvite Malcolm Turnbull to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade next year.”
Brechney’s motion read: “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.”
I attended the Mardi Gras AGM a couple of weeks ago and was unsurprised to find there was an incredible division of opinion on the Turnbull subject. Yet somehow, Brechney’s motion eventually passed. Prime Minister Turnbull will not be extended a formal invitation to the 2017 Mardi Gras Parade.
I’m of the belief that the censuring was a harsh response to Brechney’s student-level political thinking and action. However, not inviting Turnbull is ultimately a symbolic and churlish gesture. I’m not suggesting Turnbull doesn’t deserve our collective ire, considering his ineffectual support of our communities, but I think the level of foresight here is outweighed by a meaningless, snarky, dick move that will achieve little beyond temporarily soothing the justified anger of many queer people.
Turnbull addressed the media about his unceremonious dumping, saying, “I’ve had so many invitations from friends to go to their Mardi Gras parties that if Lucy and I do decide to go to the Mardi Gras next year we’ll have no shortage of opportunities and cheerful company to enjoy it with.”
I understand the anger and exhaustion that drove some Mardi Gras figures (and supporters within the community) to seek a ban on Turnbull. After all, why should somebody in support of the flaming pile of shit that was the plebiscite be allowed to flounce around our VIP areas, actively oppressing us while eating our canapés?
What I fail to understand is how supporters of this move think it will play out politically in the long run. Turnbull’s response yields no remorse – he simply and expertly sidestepped the issue by minimising it and basically saying, “That’s not the only party, sweetheart.”
With our rights and future so uncertain in Australia, I suppose we’ll take what we can get.
On Friday November 25, Purple Sneakers, Heaps Gay and Sounds Like A Nice Time will join forces to bring you an epic party across two stages at Proud Mary’s in Erina. The Lineup includes Indian Summer [below], Moonbase Commander, Purple Sneakers DJs, Shantan Wantan Ichiban, Ariane, Mezko, Matka, Nic Kelly, Heaps Gay DJs and Tilldawn. Tickets are available now.
Also on Friday November 25, head over to The Shift Club on Oxford Street for Hellfire’sNovember party, The Dark Arts. From witches, wizards and warlocks to the ‘sex magick’ of Aleister Crowley, expect a seriously sexy soirée.
From 1pm on Saturday November 26, Community Action Against Homophobia has organised a rally at Sydney Town Hall to demand equal rights in the wake of the plebiscite’s demise. The rally is asking that Parliament gives us a private member’s bill for marriage equality. The time to wait is over.
[Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras photo by Katrina Clarke]