Requests from the organizers of the Sydney The Mardi Gras parade in which police did not march at the annual LGBTQI event after an officer was charged with murder has caused an uproar.
AreThe NSW Police presenter confirmed on Monday night that ‘The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board has decided to disinvite the New South Wales Police to participate in this year’s event on March 2.
It would be the first year in two decades that uniformed officers did not participate in the parade, sparking reactions online that the group as a whole was being punished for one person’s alleged actions.
The police exclusion follows the arrest of Beaumont Lamarre-Condon, 28, a senior New South Wales police officer accused of the murders of his ex-partner, Channel 10 presenter Jesse Baird, 26. , and her new boyfriend Luke Davies, 29, in February. 19.
Among those expressing disappointment at the police ban was former ABC Radio presenter and gay rights campaigner Julie McCrossin AM, who said: “As someone arrested several times during the early days of Gay Liberation in Sydney “In the 1970s, what we were doing was cultural change and inclusion.” fighting for.’
Another commenter agreed, saying: ‘I’m a lesbian but I feel very betrayed by my community. Why do we collectively punish all police officers for the alleged actions of a disturbed gay man?
“This anti-police sentiment has been brewing in the gay community for a while and has nothing to do with this crime,” they added.
Journalist, comedian and gay rights advocate Julie McCrossin AM (center) has called on Mardi Gras organizers to reinstate the invitation for uniformed police to participate.
One person said he felt “betrayed” by the gay community for “collectively” punishing all police officers.
Jesse Baird (right) and his new partner Luke Davies (left) are missing and NSW Police Constable Beaumont Lamarre-Condon charged with their murders.
Ms McCrossin called on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board to reverse its decision and allow uniformed police to participate.
“We are very sorry that Sydney Mardi Gras has disinvited the NSW Police to march with us (they) have marched for 20 years and have attended many other Mardi Gras events,” he said.
“Some of these police officers are Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers, others are marching to show leadership and encourage cultural change from within.”
She said it had been ‘“It’s wonderful” to see major organizations and government agencies join the Mardi Gras parade over the years.
‘This includes members of the defense forces and religious groups.
‘The NSW Police marching with us is welcome news in a world where homosexuality remains a criminal offense with heavy penalties in many nations.
“Hopefully this decision can be changed.”
His words provoked an avalanche of comments that coincided with his position.
“This is a horrible decision that sets back inclusivity and reduces safety for the queer community,” one person said.
‘Although I understand the reasons behind this, I feel it is the wrong decision. “The actions of one member of this organization should not detract from the good that many others do,” said another.
Lamarre-Condon is behind bars and will be questioned again on Tuesday. The top agent previously marched in uniform at Mardi Gras in 2020 (pictured)
Sky News presenter Laura Jayes said the decision seemed “pointless”.
While conservative social commentator Prue MacSween urged caution to not let the fury over the alleged crime cause division between the gay community and the police.
“It is understandable that the gay and lesbian community is angry and grieving, but they should not blame the police for one person’s alleged act,” he said.
‘This is not a murderous act by the police. Supposedly this was a deranged person who happened to have a job in those ranks, who, yes, had access to a gun (but) this appears to be a crime of domestic violence, as tragic as it may be.’
Another commenter agreed that: ‘Organizers also need to be careful with their messaging. I’m sure they don’t want to cause the community to act hostile towards the police, who will be there to protect the parade-goers.’
However, many commentators noted that police can still attend the parade as individuals, but not as a group representing the New South Wales Police.
“They are not blaming the police for one person’s alleged act; they are managing security for a large event and seeking to avoid confrontation,” one said.
“Of course, police officers can still march, the only thing they are asked is not to march in uniform.”
Jesse Baird was also an AFL umpire, working over 60 senior games.
The Mardi Gras board said in a statement shared with the media: “In recent days many have expressed concern…about whether it can still be a space to protest, celebrate and advocate for equality, as well as honor and mourn for those we have lost, given the involvement of the New South Wales Police in this year’s event.
“Our community needs space to grieve the loss of Jesse and Luke who, before this tragedy, would have been here celebrating with us at the Festival.”
A Change.org petition calling for the board to resign over the ban also appeared online.
NSW Police said in a statement: “While we are disappointed with this outcome, we will continue to work closely with the LGBTIQA+ community and remain committed to working with organizers to provide a safe environment for all participants.”
thThe LGBTQ advocacy group Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation said conversations about police involvement in Mardi Gras should be kept separate from the topic of the alleged killings.
“This, as NSW Police have alleged, is a domestic and family violence crime and we must all recognize that this issue occurs at a disproportionately higher rate in LGBTQ+ communities,” he said.
“Greater attention and focus needs to be placed on awareness, recognition and responses to domestic and family violence by our community, first responders, service providers and government.”
New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said excluding officers from Saturday’s parade would damage the organization’s relationship with the gay and lesbian community.
“We’ve been participating in Mardi Gras for the last 20 years and we haven’t missed a year… it would be a real travesty for this organization to be excluded (this year),” he told reporters earlier Monday.
A man places flowers at Jesse Baird’s Paddington residence in Sydney on Saturday.
Premier Chris Minns also backed the police marches and said not doing so would be a step backwards.
“There are many LGBTQI members of the NSW Police Force who, over the years, particularly senior officers who have had decades of service, would have struggled with prejudice within the workforce,” said.
“I think the NSW Police marching in the Mardi Gras parade is an important part of bringing communities together.”
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