Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has announced NSW government support for their bid to host the 2023 WorldPride event.

If successful, Sydney would become the first destination in the Southern Hemisphere to host WorldPride.

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SGLMG said the NSW government had committed $192,000 to support the bid.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Sydney and NSW to host yet another world-class event that has the potential to attract thousands of visitors to the city and make a significant economic and cultural impact,” said SGLMG CEO Terese Casu.

“This event would not only boost the international profile of the Mardi Gras festival, it would also showcase the iconic surrounds of Sydney and NSW as a premier tourist destination.”

WorldPride was first held in Rome in 2000, with events since hosted by Jerusalem, London, Toronto and Madrid, with New York hosting the 2019 WorldPride to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The 2021 festival will be co-hosted by Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden.

A Sydney WorldPride 2023 would coincide with the 45th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras.

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras will present its bid for the biennial event to members of InterPride, an international organisation of Pride organisers, at the AGM in Athens in October 2019.

WorldPride is often hosted in significant years for the host city, marking important historical anniversaries and highlighting issues facing LGBTI people around the world.

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown welcomed the funding announcement, noting that 2023 would also mark the 5th anniversary of marriage equality in Australia.

“Hosting World Pride in 2023 would be a fantastic opportunity for Australia to embrace and celebrate the LGBTQI+ community not only in this country, but from around the world,” Brown said.

“Australia has a great deal to be proud of in the intervening years since that first march, having made significant progress in the journey towards equality for LGBTQI+ Australians.

“Yet whilst the achievement of marriage equality in 2017 was a significant milestone there remains much more to be done.”

Equality Australia’s Director of Engagement Aram Hosie noted that “conservative attention has increasingly been focused on blocking the progress towards equality for trans and gender diverse people,” with much work still to be done.

Brown said that “hosting World Pride would be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the strength and diversity of the global LGBTIQ+ communities, whilst also providing an opportunity for Australia to show international leadership when it comes to progressing the remaining work towards achieving full equality for LGBTIQ+ people both in Australia, the region, and right around the world.”

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