Today was always destined to be a smashing success for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL). More than 500 people took part in Rainbow Run at Sydney Park in St Peters today, an event aimed at bringing our communities together, along with raising funds and awareness for marriage equality. To our disappointment, there were a select few who weren’t shy in trying to disrupt our event.
During the course of today’s event, the following occurred:
- The graffiti of Sydney Park with homophobic messages
- Damage and vandalism of organisation collateral
- Theft of private property
- Suspected tampering of audio equipment used during the event
- Homophobic verbal abuse directed at two event volunteers
We want to take this opportunity to make it perfectly clear – the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby will not tolerate homophobia, discrimination or vilification under any circumstances. We will not stand for it, and we will act accordingly whenever and if ever it happens.
The attempts to disrupt or dampen this event were unsuccessful. Rainbow Run continued, and it was our most successful year yet. We’re proud of what this event has achieved, and that it is able to be a part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Attempts to disrupt our events and/or any campaigning for full equality for lesbians, gay men and their families will only increase our resilience.
With recent events in the political landscape, including heated debate around the Safe Schools Coalition, this serves as a reminder to us that support services for our LGBTI communities have never been more important. No person should ever feel that they’re alone, or that there is nowhere they can turn to for help. It’s something that we will never accept.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lara Creber and Healthy Habit Fitness for their facilitation of their event. We would also like to acknowledge Alex Greenwich MP for officially opening proceedings, James ‘Breko’ Brechney for MC’ing today’s event, DJ Sveta for keeping the music pumping, and every volunteer who contributed. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We as an organisation are dedicated to playing a key role in working towards social and legislative equality for our LGBTI communities. We’re committed to making sure that all schools, workplaces, homes, sporting fields and public spaces are safe spaces for all. We also hope that communicating this experience contributes to making sure that our communities are protected not only during the Mardi Gras festival, but at all times.
Further comment is available upon request.