The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has named its Mardi Gras float Our Families First, a play on the name of the Family First Party and the rise of fundamentalist Christian groups spouting homophobic family values.
The point of the float is to really show that gays and lesbians have families and are parents, and if people talk about family values they have to be inclusive of all families, GLRL co-convenor David Scamell explained.
The float, which will lead the family section of Saturday’s parade, will feature around 60 marchers including a number of same-sex parents and their young children. So it’s going to be quite cute, Scamell said.
There will be four-metre-tall building blocks spelling family and drawings by children who belong to same-sex parents.
The float will also feature camp cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, from the US kids’ show of the same name, and his friend Patrick the pink starfish.
The reason we tied SpongeBob in is because this popular character has been attacked by the conservative right in the US for being too gay-friendly and too tolerant, Scamell said.
They say this is against family values, yet many gays and lesbians are parents and have their own families.
Changing parenting laws in NSW is the GLRL’s main focus in 2005.
They want to see legislation introduced that will allow same-sex partners to have co-parenting adoption rights for children who are from a previous relationship or a surrogate mother.
At present only one parent in a same-sex relationship can legally adopt.
They also want an amendment that sees lesbians recognised as parents when their partner has a child through donor insemination.
The GLRL plan to push for same-sex couples to have access to unknown-adoption as well.