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Sydney Mardi Gras Bars banned police after couple murder case

Sydney Mardi Gras Bars banned police after couple murder case

Sydney Mardi Gras Bars banned police after couple murder case

Sydney Mardi Gras Bars banned police after couple murder case

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  • A New South Wales Police officer’s murder charges against a gay couple led to the decision.
  • The parade, once a hub for police violence against gay activists, is now seen as a unifying event.
  • NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb plans to discuss the decision with the parade board.
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The decision to uninvite police from Sydney’s iconic Mardi Gras parade this weekend has divided Australians. Organizers made the call to provide the LGBTQ+ community “space to grieve” after charging a New South Wales Police officer with murdering a gay couple last week.

Once a flashpoint where police violence targeted gay activists, people have long regarded the march as a unifying event. NSW Police expressed disappointment with the outcome.

Questions have arisen regarding the force’s participation in the parade following allegations that senior constable Beaumont Lamarre-Condon, who had previously dated Jesse Baird, allegedly killed Baird and his partner Luke Davies last Monday.

The parade’s board emphasized that they made the decision to exclude police, who have participated in the annual march for over two decades, after careful consideration. They stressed the importance of creating a safe environment “to protest, celebrate,” and “honor and grieve those we’ve lost.”

Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade has a complex history involving both LGBTQ+ activism and police brutality, with the first march in 1978 resulting in local officers beating and arresting dozens of people.

Now recognized as a historic act of defiance, the events that day laid the groundwork for Australia’s modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, as well as reforms to homophobic laws and police practices.

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NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb announced that she would meet with the parade board on Tuesday to discuss how the decision, which has ignited fierce online debate, could “adversely affect police, particularly members of the gay and lesbian community.”

On Monday, she stated that excluding police from this weekend’s event would be a “travesty,” describing Mr. Lamarre-Condon’s alleged crime as one of “passion” rather than “gay hate-related.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged that while the relationship between Sydney’s LGBTQ+ community and police had progressed significantly since 1978, he recognized that people were “grieving what is an enormous tragedy.

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