Sydney’s gay season has officially begun, with the Rainbow Flag now fluttering in the breeze above the Town Hall.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore and New Mardi Gras co-chairs Steph Sands and Peter Urmson met on the steps of Town Hall this morning for the rainbow flag-raising ceremony celebrating the start of this year’s Mardi Gras.

Moore made special mention of members of the 1971 Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) group who attended the ceremony and drew cheers from the assembled crowd which included key community and political figures.

Urmson encouraged people to get involved in the season by purchasing tickets to the official Mardi Gras Party – which is being headlined by DJ Calvin Harris – as it helps fund the internationally recognised parade, which costs more than $1 million to stage.

Moore has long been a community supporter in her roles as both an MP and the city’s Lord Mayor.

“Sydney is internationally known as Australia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender [GLBTQ] capital and a truly inclusive and diverse city,” Moore said.

“We are proud to fly this flag and mark the start of what promises to be another fun-filled and action-packed Mardi Gras festival in 2011.”

Moore said the City of Sydney’s float this year is themed ‘One Step Closer To Equality’ and celebrates the recent passage of NSW’s Same-Sex Adoption Bill.

“The Bill, which I introduced into Parliament, was a significant win for the GLBTQ community. Allowing both adoptive parents to be legally recognised is an important equal right achieved,” she said.

“The raising of the rainbow flag plays a valuable role in breaking down barriers and promoting equality and respect in our community.”


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