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Sydney wins bid for WorldPride 2023

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has won their bid to host the international marquee Pride event, WorldPride 2023.

 

 Members of the worldwide InterPride network of Pride organisations voted between Sydney, Montreal and Houston as the host city for WorldPride 2023. The final results were Sydney 60%, Montreal 36% and Huston 3% .  The win was announced in Athens, Greece overnight at the annual InterPride AGM.

 

Sydney WorldPride will be held over February and March to coincide with Mardi Gras 2023. This will be the first time ever WorldPride has been to the Southern Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific region. This is important as many LGBTQI communities within the Asia Pacific are still denied fundamental human rights.  
 

WorldPride represents a major tourism initiative for Australia. Deloitte have estimated a 25-40% increased growth in visitors, in addition to the 1.094m-1.225m visitors for Mardi Gras. Sydney will be the first stop, and other regional attractions will see visitation pre and post event.

 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Co-Chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco, says: “This is a major win for Sydney, Australia and the region more broadly. Bringing WorldPride Down Under means we can celebrate and shine a spotlight on the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQI community in the region.”

 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Co-Chair Kate Wickett, says: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to our Federal, State and Local governments, corporate and community partners, the extended team at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as well as our global community for helping bring WorldPride to Sydney 2023. This has been a truly collaborative pitch.”

 

WorldPride Committee Chair Robyn Kennedy, says: “Interpride has recognised how far Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has come since 1978, and now the world will march with us down Oxford Street to celebrate our community and support our region,”

 

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham says: "Sydney has long demonstrated its ability to host spectacular world-class events that attract visitors from right across Australia and around the globe. 

 

"It is absolutely fitting that Australia and particularly Sydney celebrate our diversity through such a symbolic event that will also deliver a huge boost to our tourism industry. 

 

"Congratulations to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the wider LGBTQI community and all other supporters on the work they have done to secure the internationally renowned extravaganza that is World Pride 2023. We are proud to have helped secure this win and look forward to promoting an event not to be missed!"

 

NSW Minister for Arts Don Harwin says “I am absolutely delighted that Sydney has been chosen to host this incredible event, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras Parade and the 50th Anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week.

 

“This event will attract thousands of international visitors and put Sydney on the world map as a truly inclusive and united global city.”

 

Michelle Jablko ANZ Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor of ANZ Pride says: “We are so excited that World Pride 2023 is coming to Sydney and what it means for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. ANZ is proud to have supported this bid not only because of our enduring partnership with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but also as a way we can demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect to the community. Congratulations to the team who worked so hard on this bid.”

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NYPD apologises for Stonewall raids 50 years on.

“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month and not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” New York City’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill said Thursday during an LGBTQ police event, according to The New York Times.

“The actions taken by the N.Y.P.D. were wrong, plain and simple,” he continued. “The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize.”

In recent years, multiple commissioners have refused to apologize for the now-documented violence that the LGBTQ community faced at the hands of New York City officers at the Stonewall Inn. In 2017, O’Neill originally declined to apologize, saying “I think that’s been addressed already," before adding, "we’re moving forward."

O'Neill's predecessor, Bill Bratton, acknowledged the year prior that there had been a "terrible experience" at Stonewall that became a "tipping point" and eventually led to "so much good." He added, "An apology, I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s necessary. The apology is all that’s occurred since then."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, had called for an apology from the NYPD in a Wednesday interview with Juliet Papas of the 1010 WINS radio program. Johnson said the police raid, which took place in the early morning hours of June 29, 1969, said such an act would be a show of "decency."

"The NYPD in the past has apologized for other incidents that have occurred, so I think the NYPD apologizing on this would be a very, very good thing, and it's something they should do,” he said. "I think it's never bad to apologize. One thing that personally I do, is if I think I've made a mistake, I try to say I'm sorry, I was wrong and I learn from that because I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting a mistake. It shows decency to recognize something that you may have done wrong."

Incidents that the NYPD have apologized for in the past include a “long overdue” public apology to a rape survivor whose 1994 complaint was met with skepticism by investigators. “We were wrong then,” O’Neill said in a statement on the police department website in October 2018. “I want us to be right today.”

In 2015, Bratton, New York City's police commissioner at the time, said he personally called James Blake, the former tennis star, to say sorry after Blake was tackled by a police officer after being racially profiled “I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident,” a statement read.

Johnson had anticipated a similar apology as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising neared. Stonewall is credited with being the most important event to spark the modern fight for LGBTQ equality in the United States.

"I would love for it happen this month and I will bring it up to the police commissioner," Johnson said Wednesday. "I will have a conversation with [the NYPD commissioner] about it because I think it would be an important step toward further healing and reconciliation and recognizing what happened in that crucial moment, and not just in American history, but New York history in June of 1969."

Pride's across the world are kicking off, with the launch of the Sydney Pride Festival last night at Sydney's own Stonewall Hotel, and celebrations across America and Europe will go through to August...  with the main festival in NYC for World Pride at the end of June.

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Taiwan becomes first Asian country to legalise Marriage Equality.

Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.

The vote came almost two years after the island's Constitutional Court ruled that the existing law - which said marriage was between a man and a woman - was unconstitutional. The panel of judges gave the island's parliament two years to amend or enact new laws.


On Friday - only a week off the two-year deadline - lawmakers in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality. It will go into effect on May 24.

Check out our galleries from Taipei Pride.

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US congress passes Equality Act

The US congress passed legislation Friday that would protect those living in states where it's legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and other services as well as access to public accommodations such as restaurants.

The bill, known as the "Equality Act," would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. But critics argue it raises serious concerns for religious communities as well as women's sports.

It passed largely along party lines in the Democratic-controlled House, 236-173, but it's not expected to be taken up in the GOP-led Senate. Eight Republicans supported the bill.

The passage of the bill comes one day after President Donald Trump offered support to Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and who would be the first married gay US president if elected.

In an interview with Fox News, the President was asked to put aside policy disagreements and weigh in on Buttigieg's status as a married gay man.

"Don't you think it's just great to see the fact that you've got a guy there on the stage with his husband and it's normal?" Fox's Steve Hilton asked.

"I think it's absolutely fine, I do," Trump said.

He agreed with Hilton's assessment that Buttigieg's candidacy is a "sign of great progress," adding, "Yeah, I think it's great. I think that's something that perhaps some people will have a problem with, I have no problem with it whatsoever."

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It's Australia's election day on Saturday - so who was against same sex marriage?

Well, it's that time again for Aussies to head to the polls and decide which party/parties will run the country for the next few years. One major change that happened for our community in the last session of parliament, was the legalisation of Same Sex Marriage. 

Whilst the conservatives were in power when it happened, Australians suffered through a divisive and unnecessary postal survey which would not guarantee the will of the people would be reflected in the vote by parliament.

The current, non-elected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison abstained from the vote. Whilst pressed recently at a press conference, he states he now backs same-sex marriage, but as a confirmed evangelical, he refused to comment on whether he believed LGBTQIA people would go to hell.

When making up your mind this Saturday - if you have not voted already - check out the list of politicians who DID support our community and those that did not.

The ABC has a full list of those who voted for and against or abstained from the marriage equality vote.

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Bobby Goldsmith Foundation announces its annual fundraising Auction, “The Golden Hammer”

Australia’s oldest HIV charity, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), today launched its annual Auction fundraiser with a twist, which will be held on Thursday 30th May at the Australian Museum. This year’s auction will be titled “The Golden Hammer”.

 

“We wanted to breathe some new life into an event that has been a staple of our communities’ calendar for many years and we’re aiming for this year’s Auction to be bigger and better than ever before.

 

Every dollar we raise on the night will go towards helping us provide practical, emotional and financial support for our clients living with HIV” said Nick Lawson, BGF’s CEO.

 

The auction will showcase some incredible talent from the LGBTQIA community which will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

“We are holding the event atop the iconic Australian Museum, with panoramic city views and a production that will entertain our guests all evening long, as well some fantastic food and beverages on hand as well!” said Rob Manser, BGF’s Community Fundraising and Events Coordinator.

 

The Auction will be held on

Thursday 30th May

No 1 William, Australian Museum,

1 William Street, Sydney

6.30pm-10.30pm.

 

BGF is calling out to business and service providers in our community to supply items for the auction.  If you have any items or services you would like to donate or you would like to know about sponsorship opportunities for the event, please contact Rob Manser on (02)9283 8666.

 

BUY TICKETS

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BBC TV star to support BGF at Mardi Gras parade

She has topped the charts over multiple decades and is the face of prides across Europe. Now she is heading back home to support Bobby Goldsmith Foundation as they walk up the parade route for the 41st Mardi Gras parade.

With thanks to Bear Bar and BGF, the parade entry will be "GLORIA"ous and holding out for a hero when Kelly take to the stage at the Burdekin Hotel on Parade night. 

You can support BGF by buying a raffle ticket.

 

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Alfie Arcuri kicks off Jaguars Mardi Gras campaign

Cut to Taylor Square, where cafes have come and gone and billboards reign supreme.  Throw in DJ Victoria Anthony, drag star Rhuma Hazzet, and some awesome Gayle Beer and Cider, and what do you have? A perfect platform for a media launch to celebrate Jaguar's support of Queer Screen and their #fitforaqueen campaign.

Media and glitterati were invited to the Taylor Square space, where we mingled and got to hear Alfie belt out a few tunes. That boy is not only talented, but he is easy on the eye! (We do apologize to Alfie as our resident snapper cornered him to talk all things Eurovision for most of the night!)

It was a fun event, and a good way to showcase the support Jaguar has giving the lgbtqia community globally... it's support like this that makes a massive difference, its not a cash grab - it's a real and genuine connection to the community in which a company operates.

Sephora came on board too to give some drag makeovers, and the Jag CEO was looking fierce in his bright red kissable lipstick and headdress... 

 

This weekend, the Jag Queen Service Centre will be popping up on Oxford Street for a two-day programme ahead of the Mardi Gras Parade.

 

Celebrating 2019’s spirit of inclusion, and Jaguar’s exciting new partnership with Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, the Jag Queen Service Centre will host Australia’s most celebrated queens this Friday 1st March, who have been invited to participate in Jaguar’s first-ever Jag Queen Catwalk Contest.

 

In the ultimate celebration of self-expression, fiercely competitive participants will be given the opportunity to strut their stuff – in looks inspired by the spirit of the Jaguar cat – for the chance to win a trip to London Pride in July 2019.

 

On Parade Day, the Jag Queen Service Centre will be truly fit for a queen; a one stop shop for festivalgoers, offering touch-ups of lippy or sparkle, and full drag-formations in partnership with Sephora.

 

At both events, Jaguar will be collecting donations for Twenty10, Australia’s longest running LGBTQI+ charity which supports at-risk youth (12-25), their families and communities.

 

A celebration of gender and sexual diversity, the Jag Queen Service Centre will be a safe and welcoming place, true to Queer Screen’s 2019 festival theme of ‘embrace your story’.

 

Jag Queen Service Centre

Saturday 2nd March, 12.00pm – 6.00pm

191 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

alfie acuri jaguar

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US Supreme Court Allows Trans Military Ban to go ahead

Justices of the supreme court won’t hear arguments but block lower court orders making one of the most unpopular Presidents in US history's repeated push to ban trans people from openly serving in the armed forces.

The justices, voting 5-4 Tuesday, put on hold lower court decisions that had blocked the administration’s planned ban from taking effect. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented. Neither side provided any explanation.

The court stopped short of agreeing to hear arguments on an expedited basis, as the administration sought. But by letting the ban take effect, the court gave the administration a "major victory" and hinted the justices ultimately will uphold the restrictions.

Transgender troops have been serving openly since June 2016, when President Barack Obama’s administration began lifting a longstanding prohibition. Opponents of the ban say reinstating it would violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Estimates vary of how many transgender people serve in the military. A 2016 Rand study estimated that between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people were on active duty. The Mattis report said that since June 2016, about 900 people on active duty have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria -- the medical term for a conflict between one’s physical gender and the gender with which the person identifies.

The report also said that a 2016 survey of the military found that almost 9,000 people identified as transgender.

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Next Heaven Social Dance to pay tribute to one of its founders, Ian Stumbles.

He made a huge difference to the lives of many of us, and was an integral part of the family that puts on the monthly event "HEAVEN" in Sydney's western suburbs...  a monthly event and lifeline to the LGBTQIA community out west, Ian was the coordinator to beat them all.

His genuine humor, love for life and his friends and his keen eye for a good drag talent has helped launch some global superstars from the west of Sydney that otherwise may not have been seen or given the chance to shine in the way they do.

Heaven's Feb 9 event will be a tribute night to Ian - so we are asking all of our family to come together and share the memories, the love and the glitter that was Ian Stumbles.

Come along and be a part of it - even if you didn't know Ian personally, our community needs to show the love - so we hope to see you there!

View Event Info here

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