RECENTLY-sworn in NSW Premier Mike Baird yesterday went on record in State Parliament to re-affirm his support for the state’s LGBTI community.

The news came about when a question was put forward by openly-gay Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich, in which he said: “Will (the premier) build on the support of previous premiers for the (LGBTI) communities, including supporting ACON, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Twenty10 and the Gender Centre, and allowing at least a free vote on (LGBTI)-related legislation?”

In his response, Baird said his government would judge individuals by how they behaved.

“Discrimination against any individual or group on the basis of race, religion or sexuality has no place in NSW,” he said.

“Members of the (LGBTI) community can continue to have the government as a great supporter. I give the same personal commitment as premier.”

Baird went on to highlight the funding the Coalition Government have provided to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Gender Centre, Twenty10, as well as ACON and the Ending HIV campaign.

It was also believed to be the first time the premier spoke in parliament of the financial and in-kind support the government was providing for the Bingham Cup, which is to be held in Sydney later this year.

Baird also reaffirmed his commitment to conscience votes.

“I refer to conscience votes and pay tribute to the former premier (Barry O’Farrell). His leadership on matters of conscience was exemplary and showed this parliament how members should respond on matters of conscience,” he said.

“My position will be exactly the same as the position of former premier.”

Yesterday’s speech comes after Baird expressed regret at past comments he made to the media about homosexuality being a “lifestyle choice”.

Read it in full here.


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