Australian PM may be banned from Pride celebrations amid equal marriage shambles

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may be banned from Sydney Mardi Gras after the collapse of negotiations on equal marriage.

Mr Turnbull had attempted to avoid a rift with his own ultra-conservative MPs by bringing forward plans to take same-sex marriage to the public in a non-binding plebiscite.

However, talks fell apart after opposition parties pledged to block the vote, which they see as expensive and largely redundant, given overwhelming public support for marriage equality.

LGBT activists say equal marriage could be passed by a simple vote in Parliament, but Turnbull has refused to allow a vote to go forward.

In the wake of the controversy, and the censorship of an LGBT sex education campaign, activists have called for Turnbull to be barred from next year’s Sydney Mardi Gras.

According to Same Same, Mardi Gras board member James Brechney said he would raise the possibility of disinviting the PM from the next celebrations, set for February.

He said: “At the next Mardi Gras Board meeting I’m going to tell them that we don’t want Malcolm Turnbull at next years Mardi Gras. It’s definitely something we will need to discuss.”

Mr Brechney added: “How can a man who is supposed to be the leader of this nation and one who has attended Mardi Gras, ignore the concerns of numerous LGBTQI organisations around how damaging a plebiscite will be for our community?

“It’s like he doesn’t care. Well, I’m over caring too. It would be better if he and [wife] Lucy enjoyed their marriage in private next Mardi Gras if we’re still fighting for our right to access the institution.”