Australian PM marches in Sydney WorldPride

Mar 06, 23
Australian PM marches in Sydney WorldPride

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said everyone deserved to be "valued, equal and celebrated" as he joined thousands to march for LGBTQ rights.

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined thousands of people celebrating the WorldPride festival in Sydney on Sunday.

Albanese joined crowds on the final day of the festival, saying that "over the last 17 days it has been a great moment of unity and celebrating the diversity in Australian society and also sending a message to the world that we're enriched by it."

The festival, hosted by different countries every other year, kicked off on February 17. Albanese also became the first sitting prime minister to join the iconic annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on February 25.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong joined crowds at the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Sunday too, tweeting afterward to say, "For those who fought before us and for those who will follow. Happy World Pride."

A remarkable show of pride

Around 50,000 people, dressed in costumes and draped in Pride flags, showed up at the famous bridge to march for LGBTQ rights.

Organizers during the opening ceremony on Sunday asked people to consider LGBTQ communities who lived in fear of persecution in other countries, national broadcaster ABC News reported.

Australia legalized same-sex marriage in December 2017. At least 67 countries have laws that criminalize same-sex relations, according to Human Rights Watch.

A tribute to those who paved the way

Sharlene Dixon, who traveled from Perth, which is on the other side of the Australian coast, said she was moved to tears by the procession of 78ers who led the march.

78ers are the participants of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras held on June 24, 1978 and subsequent events.

Albanese tweeted to say that "It was an honour to acknowledge those who have fought to advance human rights, including the 78ers who led the march across the Bridge."

The events of the festival paid special focus to Australia's Indigenous LGBTQ communities.

The WorldPride website wrote that "Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people come from many different clans and communities across Australia & in 2023 will come together as one, to celebrate with our global LGBTQIA+ community." 

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