The rainbow flag will be raised above Sydney Town Hall on February 18 and will fly for the duration of the 2011 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, as a sign of Sydney’s diversity and inclusiveness.

Ahead of the internationally recognised gay pride event, Lord Mayor Clover Moore will be joined by New Mardi Gras co-chairs Steph Sands and Peter Urmson to witness the flag being hoisted above the city in a short ceremony.

“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.”

Sands said the City’s support of Mardi Gras was pivotal.

“Mardi Gras generates millions of dollars for Sydney’s local economy, however, only part of this is captured by our organisation. The City of Sydney’s support ensures a great Parade and festival,” she said.
“Seeing the rainbow flag raised at Town Hall is a wonderful symbolic initiative that speaks volumes about this city’s positive attitude towards its iconic pride event.”

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