Apart from the occasional lewd act by some exuberant male marchers, the Sydney Mardi Gras which takes place in March, is great fun for everyone.
But it wasn’t always so.
When gay people attempted to hold the first Mardi Gras event in 1978, police made 53 arrests and the Sydney Morning Herald published the names of known participants.
Nearly 40 years on, the paper has apologised for this unspeakable violation of personal privacy.
And on 25th February, an official apology was made to the LGBT community in Sydney by the New South Wales State Parliament.
Again, not before time.
This said, the Australian Federal government still refuses to legalise same-sex marriage, an extraordinary situation when you consider that Catholic countries such as Argentina, Spain and Ireland who by papal decree forbid abortion, are among the current total of 21 nations to recognise same-sex marriage ie. the right to love your chosen partner and to have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.
Australia is ‘dragging the chain’.
Never has this expression dating from early convict days been more apt.