Spring Out Pride Parade bathes gloomy Canberra in sea of technicolour

Updated November 18, 2017 16:02:38

Canberra’s annual Spring Out Pride Parade has lit up Civic in rainbow colours on an otherwise wet and rainy day.

A large crowd of Canberrans, mostly belonging to LGBTIQ advocacy groups, marched through the streets of Civic for one of the major events of the annual Spring Out festival.

Cars beeped and passers by cheered and waved flags in support as the group made its way through Garema Place and down Bunda Street to Glebe Park.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, the first openly gay leader of any state or territory, led the parade with his partner Anthony Toms.

The Pride Parade comes just days after Australia voted to allow same-sex couples to marry and Canberra returned the highest Yes vote of any jurisdiction.

But the march was not just in celebration — Mr Barr reminded the crowd that the campaign for gay rights was not yet over.

“We’ve fought so long and so hard to achieve this basic equality and it has consumed so much of our community’s attention and the public’s and media’s attention,” he said.

“But there’s still so much to be done to achieve full inclusion and equality for all LGBTIQ people — not just here in Canberra but around the nation and around the world.”

Mr Barr said a major step was to make the LGBTIQ community more visible and included in Canberra.

He said part of that was giving Braddon a rainbow makeover.

On Wednesday, Mr Barr announced a technicolour roundabout would be installed in Braddon and thousands of people partied in Londsdale Street into the night after the result of the postal survey was announced.

“It’s not just that gay and lesbian people can only have one or two venues that they can feel comfortable socialising in,” Mr Barr said.

“What we are seeing on Lonsdale Street is quite an inclusive strip there where there a range of bars, restaurants and venues that are really popular right across the board.

“With the rainbow roundabout going in there I suspect we’ll see a lot more activity for LGBTIQ people in that region.”

Topics: gays-and-lesbians, states-and-territories, federal—state-issues, canberra-2600, act

First posted November 18, 2017 15:19:44