The Mardi Gras parade should be held out of sight of the general public to prevent “flagrant promotion of sexual immorality” and “anarchy” on the streets of Sydney.
Christian Democratic Party candidate Peter Madden — who will try and oust Clover Moore come March 24 — made the call at his campaign launch at Paddington RSL on Friday evening, suggesting ANZ Stadium as an appropriate venue.
He said the stadium would ensure nobody under 18 could watch or participate in the parade, while allowing police to make spectators and participants pass a gauntlet of sniffer dogs on their way in.
“The Mardi Gras is an open porn display,” Madden said.
“It’s men in g-strings playing with sex toys in front of kids. Whether it’s in the parade or whether it’s people in the crowd, it’s still inappropriate behaviour to put in front of children.”
Madden said he and Rev Fred Nile would be holding a forum to discuss their plans for Mardi Gras and would ask police to participate.
But despite making a video calling for “10,000 warriors” to shut down the 2011 parade, Madden denied he hated homosexuals.
“The most intimidating lobbies in Australia are the homosexual lobby and the Islamic lobby,” he said. “[But] I separate the individual homosexual from the militant homosexual lobby … I separate the Muslim from the militant Islamic lobby.”
He said everybody needed tolerance as “we all make mistakes”.
“But we don’t tolerate pedophiles, we don’t tolerate drug pushers,” he said. “I love the poor homosexual enough to tell him that his behaviour is unacceptable on public streets.”
Madden, who is also campaigning against the sex industry, has admitted to being a reformed sex addict who used prostitutes.
He told the Star Observer he’d had sex with prostitutes in California where prostitution is illegal.
New Mardi Gras (NMG) CEO, Michael Rolik said Madden’s parade plan was bad for business.
“It would have a negative effect on the economy,” Rolik said. “The whole point of the event is that it’s an outdoor festival that promotes and celebrates the visibility of our community.
“You only have to look at how many people have been coming to the event over the last 33 years to know they want to see an outdoor parade. The muzzling of gay and lesbian people is not something we would accept.”
Rolik said NMG would not attend the CDP Mardi Gras forum and would be surprised if police did.
“We do extensive planning for many, many months with all the authorities and that’s where we invest our time and resources — not in silly distractions like this. This is nothing more than an election stunt,” he said.
Independent Clover Moore said she strongly supported Mardi Gras’ message of “equal rights, inclusion, pride and respect”.
“One of the best things about Sydney is that it is tolerant and diverse, and I deplore attempts to promote division,” Moore said. “I look forward to again taking part in the parade.”
Sydney Liberal candidate Adrian Bartels said he was appalled by Madden’s video.
“Sydney is a diverse and tolerant and inclusive city. That is its strength and this type of hateful rhetoric has no place here,” Bartels said.
“In terms of preference deals by the Liberals, I have no control or part to play in that, but I’ll absolutely not be preferencing him in Sydney.”
Greens candidate De Brierley Newton said Madden had misjudged the enormous support Mardi Gras had.
“I couldn’t even start to try to understand what the CDP is trying to do here — this is so out of touch with what is going on in the electorate,” Newton said.
Labor candidate Sacha Blumen said Madden had a right to his views.
“I strongly support the Mardi Gras parade because it’s a fun night and we all love a parade. It’s a celebration of individuality, self-expression, and a great way to draw attention to political issues and civil rights,” he said.
“[But] Australia is a democratic country and I support his right to put forward his views … I don’t think people would treat many of the things he says that seriously.”