by SHIBU THOMAS
The vote on the Equality Bill has once again been delayed, with LGBTQI activists saying that NSW MPs are not welcome at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras scheduled to take place next month.
The Equality Bill was introduced by out Sydney gay MP Alex Greenwich Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill in the NSW Parliament in August 2023. In November 2023, MPs voted to separate the proposed legislation from the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill 2023.
Last week, the Bill was delayed to mid-March 2024.
Sleepwalking Into Mardi Gras
“Today we saw an Assembly either out to lunch or asleep in their chairs, too cowardly to even make time in parliament to discuss the Equality Bill,” Quay-Quay from the Queer Action Collective said in a statement.
“They’re assuming they can happily sleepwalk into a Mardi Gras Season and count on us for photo ops but we the queer community are showing them from today on, Pride is for us and you have to earn any of our goodwill,” said Quay-Quay.
Pride In Protest accused NSW Labor of staying silent on the Bill and denying essential protections to the LGBTQI community.
“NSW Labor have had no backbone in their commitments to queer rights, flip-flopping on their promise to ending conversion therapy because they have caved to religious bigots who are asking to be excluded from the ban,” Charlie Murphy from Pride in Protest said.
“All forms of conversion therapy must end, and birth certificate reform must take place so trans people have no barriers in changing their legal sex.”
Denying Protections To LGBTQI Community
According to Pride in Protest, NSW Labor, by failing to pass the Bill, was “preventing queer people from attaining protections under the Anti Discrimination Act, reform on birth certificate laws, and an end to conversion therapy.”
Labor’s assurances that anti-discrimination protections would be referred to the Law Reform Commission, could result in the proposed legislation being drawn out and delayed until after the next elections, claimed Pride in Protest.
“It remains to be seen which State Labor MPs will try to attend Mardi Gras despite the members voting to make them unwelcome without passing the bill, which they have so far delayed and made no commitments to,” Pride In Protest posted on Facebook.
Pride In Protest announced that a rally would be held on February 18 at 2 pm from Pride Square in Newtown to Fair Day at Victoria Park to call on NSW Labor to pass the Equality Bill.