Shorten to march at Mardi Gras
For the first time in Australian history the federal leader of a major political party will march in the Mardi Gras Parade.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has announced he will march in the parade with his family.
“I’m delighted to be attending this year’s Mardi Gras with my wife Chloe, our three children, and my Labor Party colleagues to show our support for marriage equality. It is time to make this a reality,” Shorten said.
The Labor leader reiterated his support for same-sex marriage and said it is time for a free vote on the issue in parliament.
“If the new Malcolm Turnbull actually did what the old Malcolm Turnbull said we could have marriage equality by Mardi Gras,” Shorten said. “If Malcolm Turnbull is too gutless to confront the right of his party Labor will introduce a Bill into Parliament within 100 days of being elected to legalise same sex marriages.”
Shorten said Labor did not want to see taxpayer funds going towards funding nasty and negative ‘no’ campaigns against marriage equality.
“If you want marriage equality in Australia, vote Labor at the next election.”
Shorten said Australian Parliament should represent the interests of all Australians including the LGBTI community.
“Attending Mardi Gras sends a strong message that LGBTI Australians are valued members of our community, entitled to the same opportunities, love and respect as everybody else. This message is important for everybody to hear, but it’s especially important for young people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity - this is why I was so keen to get involved," Shorten said.