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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sydney Mardi Gras parade will focus on gay marriage

By Brendan Bolger -

Unprecedented public debate around the issue of same-sex marriage in recent months has shaped the overall theme to this year’s Mardi Gras parade.

With parade entry applications now officially closed, New Mardi Gras (NMG) revealed on Friday there were at least 15 floats that will take a stand against Australia’s federal law prohibiting same-sex marriage.
And an “extravagant spectacle” in the parade will focus on the issue of marriage equality but further details will not be revealed until closer to parade night on March 5.
Parade Producer Vicktor Petroff said Mardi Gras 2011 is beginning to take shape “and what’s clear is that our communities have something to say”.
“We are planning something huge and spectacular that will send a loud and clear message to the world about how strongly our community feels about this issue – watch this space,” Petroff said.
Cyber punk cheerleaders, gothic gridiron players, giant peacocks, gargantuan sparkling fish, a replica Sydney Harbour Bridge, tradie drag kings, statuesque drag queens and a giant swan cavorting with dozens of dancing Marie Antoinettes, are just some of the other floats NMG revealed will march up Oxford Street next month.
Meanwhile, following the controversial rejection of some floats from last year’s parade, Queer Animal Liberation NSW has been given the green light.
The group’s founder Katrina Fox congratulated NMG for engaging with the community and making changes to its parade entry criteria through its ‘It’s Your Parade’ consultation last year.
“Mardi Gras have been really lovely and welcoming this year. The various people I’ve spoken to throughout our application process have been very helpful and genuinely happy to have us in the parade.
“It’s a much more positive experience than last year and queer animal rights advocates and their straight allies are excited and looking forward to being part of the biggest event on the global GLBTIQ calendar,” Fox said.


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