Democrats interim leader Brian Greig says he will keep fighting for gay and lesbian rights whether he takes over permanent party leadership next week or not.

Greig has another week in his role of interim leader, before he either takes on the top job permanently or hands over the head office to colleague Andrew Bartlett.

Speaking at his first official media function since taking on the leader’s job, Greig said he understood his responsibilities to the gay and lesbian community.

I come from and am known for my work in social justice, Greig told the Sydney Media Club.

I’m most particularly known for my advocacy of gay and lesbian issues. Many Democrats voters come to our party for our work on these issues. It’s important that we’re still out there advocating.

He said later he was tired of the openly gay senator title which has prefixed his name since his leadership appointment.

His words came after a speech on just about everything but gay and lesbian issues.

In it, Greig discussed the Democrats’ international position, their record on environmental work, the overseas terrorism crisis and the proposed war on Iraq.

On the Democrats, Greig said he believed the party was in a calming period after the party’s highly public cat-fight in August.

Brian Greig was appointed interim Democrats leader after previous leader Natasha Stott Despoja stood down in August.

In the week following his appointment, former deputy leader Aden Ridgeway stood down and Greig announced he would stand for the leadership. He was challenged by fellow Stott Despoja supporter Andrew Bartlett.

The new Democrats leader will be announced on 5 October following a vote by the party’s membership.

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