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Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Residents of Sydney, Australia attended the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this week. This year marked the festival’s 20th anniversary. Sydney lawyer and journalist David Marr said, “behind the frivolity of the parade, the message is that there is unfinished business. In its outrageous, flamboyant way Mardi Gras is a reminder that the campaign for fairness and good sense goes on.”

Local politicians support the festivities, acknowledging the “pink dollar” that adds around $20 million to Sydney’s economy, and praised the parade for its reflection of “tolerance and diversity.”

The annual event began in 1978, when homosexuality was illegal and those convicted faced up to 14 years in prison. Sydney gay men held a street demonstration and coming-out party, protesting the law. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Australia in 1984.

Sources:

Washington Post - March 13, 1998