Nations United -” from Amnesty International’s perspective, a more apt and appropriate theme could not have been chosen.

Amid the fun and glamour of embracing a theme like Nations United -” as you attach the last rhinestones to a pair of Dutch clogs or put the final touches on your Kabuki face paint before heading out to the party -” Amnesty will ask parade-goers to take a moment and think about what it’s like to be gay and lesbian in less accepting parts of the world.

The essential idea of the parade float this year will to be to communicate that there are still lots of bad things happening in the world, Amnesty’s GLBT group convenor Lizzi Price said.

Entrants will don T-shirts spelling out the fact that in 77 countries homosexuality is illegal, punishable with jail time, while in seven countries homosexuality is punishable by death.

At Fair Day this year we managed to get some time on the stage and got a number of people over to our tent to sign four letters we had running. It was also great to get a number of people signing up to be on our mailing list or to be a part of the group.

One of the letters at Fair Day drew attention to Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal, and new legislation puts anyone living with a member of the same sex at risk of incarceration. It is illegal to offer assistance to anyone who has been found out to be gay -” a factor which has grave ramifications for HIV prevention campaigns in the country.

When people ask me about persecution in the world, they’re usually shocked. But I don’t think they’re unfamiliar with the state of the world, it’s just that it is shocking, Price said. If we all just do a little something every now and then, added together that’s a huge thing and it can change the world.

info: For more on Amnesty International or to get involved with the GLBT network visit amnesty.org.au.

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