Malcolm Turnbull barred from attending Mardi Gras

  • 13/11/2016
Malcolm Turnbull at the 2016 Sydney Mardi Gras (AAP)
Malcolm Turnbull at the 2016 Sydney Mardi Gras (AAP)

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been barred from next year's Mardi Gras parade.

Despite personally being a supporter of marriage equality, organisers of the annual Sydney festival have said Mr Turnbull is "not welcome" because of how he has handled the gay marriage debate in Australia.

While Mr Turnbull has backed calls for a national vote on the issue, members of the LGBTI community fear that a public vote could lead to a homophobic campaign against marriage equality.

This is despite opinion polls conducted in Australia finding that most Australians support same-sex marriage.

Mr Turnbull became the first sitting Australian Prime Minister to attend the Mardi Gras parade earlier this year.

Cat Rose, who put forward the motion to bar Mr Turnbull from the 2017 Mardi Gras, believes the Australian Prime Minister attended last year's event purely as a "media opportunity", saying the gay community does not need his "phony friendship".

She claims Mr Turnbull has been "nothing but a conduit for homophobes wanting to derail marriage equality through a vindictive plebiscite [referendum]".

A survey of over 5000 LGTBI Australians found that 85 percent opposed holding a public referendum, instead wanting Mr Turnbull to allow a parliamentary vote on the matter.

This week, opponents of the referendum were backed by Australia's upper house, which blocked the government's proposal for the national vote.