Government funds Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Parade goers ri...

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via Daylife

For the first time ever the NSW Government is assisting in funding the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! I heard this piece of news on Friday then promptly forgot about it, fortunately a new reader, Jimmy, reminded me about the funding of the Catholic World Youth Day, which reminded me about this piece of news.

As many of you know both the State and Federal Governments funded the Catholic World Youth Day to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. So why shouldn’t the government fund the Mardi Gras? As the new NSW Premier said about the Mardi Gras:

It’s become an international showcase of Sydney’s inclusiveness, creativity and diversity, and a celebration shared by the wider community.

Unlike the CWYD which, even though they tried to convince us otherwise, was really only of interest to a small minority of Catholics.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest events of it’s kind in the world. The Mardi Gras has had some of the largest audiences of any event in Australia and as Events NSW Chief Executive Geoff Parmenter says:

“It has been estimated that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras generates more than $30 million of direct economic benefit for NSW each year, and it has become an international showcase of Sydney’s diversity.”

So what has taken so long for the government to finally chip in a few dollars? When I heard this news, one of the first things I wondered was; what impact did all the negative feedback from the general populace about CWYD have on the decision to fund the Mardi Gras. I wasn’t the only person at the time making comparisons to the two events and questioning why one got government funds and the other didn’t.

The two letters to the newspaper I sent (neither of which got published) outlined the concerns I had at the time and the total inaccuracies being spouted by the Catholic Apologetics. You can read those on my Letters to the Editor post.

However, there are still a few people who don’t agree with me, and the many others, who think the government should financially assist the Mardi Gras. The Daily Telegraph has a couple of articles and blogs with criticisms of the funding. There is also a poll on the Daily Telegraph article, which has over 500 comments!, which is currently running at over 70% in favour of the funding.

In some respects I agree with some of the comments, that why should the government (i.e.. us taxpayers) help fund what is currently a reasonably financially successful event. The bottom line is, why not? Why should the government not assist the Mardi Gras but assist the vastly more wealthy Catholic church? Government funds all sorts of things that you or I might not agree on, but at least they have to be fair when it comes to handing out money.

So I’m going to do a Pharyngula and ask all my readers to skew the poll (side bar, about half way down) and vote Yes.


One last thing, whilst finishing writing this I’m half listening to Compass, which is on in the background in the next room. Something about a bunch of deluded twits from some wacked out religious collage in America that helps breed lobbyists intent on “reclaiming America for Christ.”. Scary, scary, scary; American atheists get out now while there’s still a chance! I’ve got a spare room if anyone’s interested.  :lol: 


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21 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheist, Catholic, Catholic WYD, gay and lesbian, government funding, homophobia, Mardi Gras, NSW, Sydney

21 responses to “Government funds Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

  1. Pingback: Government funds Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras | Lesbian Books and News

  2. Pingback: Trackback

  3. Caught bits of the compass show as well. Patrick Henry has ties with Joel’s Army i believe. Breeding fundamentalist nutbags for the whitehouse.

  4. AV

    Is that Patrick Henry doco a repeat? I remember seeing a documentary on Patrick Henry on either SBS or the ABC a couple of years ago.

  5. Novparl

    The bottom line, eh?

    The bottom line is, why should the Gumn subsidise the exchange of diseases? Or didn’t you know about that?

  6. novparl

    What happened to my comment? Too strong for you?

  7. @ Novparl,
    no your comment wasn’t too strong, I’ve just been “otherwise occupied” (personal matters I’m not getting into here), which is why I haven’t posted or moderated comments for a while.

    Now back to your original comment:

    The bottom line, eh?

    The bottom line is, why should the Gumn subsidise the exchange of diseases? Or didn’t you know about that?

    I assume you are trying to infer AIDS? It’s the disease homophobes try and imply is a purely homosexual disease. Which it isn’t, true in Western countries there is a higher prevalence of AIDS within the gay community, but that isn’t necessarily so in other countries (go do some research on AIDS in Uganda for instance, and how they were starting to control it to some extent, until the Catholics started telling everyone wearing condoms is evil).

    The bottom line is that events like the Mardis Gras have often been an event that is used to help educate people about safe sex and how to avoid contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases. So yes the government subsidizing the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras is probably helping prevent AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    One wonders how many diseases were spread during the C-WYD, what with them not allowed to wear condoms and all (and don’t tell me none of them had sex)

  8. AV

    What happened to my comment? Too strong for you?

    Every time my comment fails to instantaneously appear on a WordPress blog, I immediately leap to the conclusion that it has fallen prey to TEH GAY ATHEIST CONSPIRACY. (In Soviet Russia, Occam’s Razor fails you.)

    The bottom line is, why should the Gumn subsidise the exchange of diseases.

    It did just that when it subsidised the Catholic World Youth Day. The Catholic Church is an institution that, thanks to its opposition to reality-based sex education and birth control in the Third World, is contributing to the exchange of diseases with disastrous results.

  9. @ Ozatheist & AV. Yes, sorry about that, I realised you were probably taking a breather the minute I posted and my original comment appeared.

    I have read about Uganda. They continue to have lower rates of infection than SAfrica, Lesotho etc. It’s a myth that everyone in Uganda is Catholic. Many are Moslem, Protestant or follow tribal religions.

    I agree about the strange decision to subsidise CWYD. However, 2 wrongs don’t make a right (actually, for liberals, they do).

    Do you have any evidence that promoting promiscuity with vague references to condom use leads to a decline in HIV? (or, more simply, is HIV declining among Mardi Gras attenders?).

    Interesting article in Saturday’s Guardian (our equiv of the Age) by John Pilger claiming that reports of child abuse among Abos are an attempt to seize their lands. Any thoughts?

  10. AV

    Do you have any evidence that promoting promiscuity with vague references to condom use leads to a decline in HIV? (or, more simply, is HIV declining among Mardi Gras attenders?).

    “Promiscuity” is just a label you attach to sexual practices you personally don’t like. Using the term in this discussion is a cheap appeal to emotion that simply won’t fly here.

    Also, nobody advanced the proposition that “promoting promiscuity with vague references to condom use leads to a decline in HIV,” so you can add strawman to your list of argumentative fails. (Tell me, do you have any evidence that you have stopped beating your wife yet?)

    It was the Catholic Church that was caught last year lying about the effectiveness of condom use, spreading the falsehood that condoms do not protect againsr HIV, to the condemnation of such liberal atheist fag-enabling outfits as the World Health Organisation, UNAids, and Christian Aid

  11. novparl

    AV – so you don’t think promiscuity plays any role in spreading STIs? I was making a cheap appeal to a widely held medical view.

  12. novparl

    (Sorry, got interrupted)

    It wasn’ t the RC church as a whole, but individual preachers in Uganda. (I notice you avoid saying that Uganda has more Aids than any other country.) As for anything to do with the dismal United Nations, look up about WHO & malaria. And Christian Aid aren’t atheists, so are obviously wrong.

    I continue to beat my wife AND my my exotic foreign mistresses. None of this wimpy feminism for me.

  13. AV

    so you don’t think promiscuity plays any role in spreading STIs? I was making a cheap appeal to a widely held medical view.

    Define promiscuity.

    (I notice you avoid saying that Uganda has more Aids than any other country.)

    People living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, by country:
    South Africa — 5.7 million
    Nigeria — 2.6 million
    Kenya — 1.5 – 2 million
    Mozambique — 1.5 million
    Zimbabwe — 1.3 million
    Zambia — 1.1 million
    Uganda — 1 million

    Why wouldn’t I avoid saying that Uganda has more AIDS than any other country?

    As for anything to do with the dismal United Nations, look up WHO and malaria.

    Poisoning the well fallacy.

    An Christian Aid aren’t atheists, so are obviously wrong.

    Why?

  14. novparl

    AV (Authorised version). Define promiscuity? No, look at all the sites on the web making the link between it & STIs.

    Your thesis was that Uganda is world leader in Aids, because they’re all Catholics.

    Have you looked up WHO & Malaria?

    My comment about Krishchun Aid is too obvious to be explained.

    One last question. Does “chocolate” have the same meaning in Oz-gay-slang as among Pommie pooftahs? Do you like chocolate?

  15. novparl

    What’s up, you blokes? Don’t be shy!

  16. AV

    Your thesis was that Uganda is world leader in Aids, because they’re all Catholics.

    My thesis, huh? Please provide the link to the comment where I advanced that thesis.

    Have you looked up WHO & Malaria?

    How is it relevant to the topic?

    My comment about Krishchun Aid is too obvious to be explained.

    No, it isn’t.

    One last question. Does “chocolate” have the same meaning in Oz-gay-slang as among Pommie pooftahs? Do you like chocolate?

    A word of advice, novparl. You’re actually going to have a lot of difficulty baiting non-theists with homophobic taunts. That’s the advantage of not confining oneself to straitjacket of religious magical thinking–all the associated neuroses and hang-ups just melt away. Along with the woolly reasoning of the kind manifested in your implied assumption that if an individual supports gay rights, that individual must be, by definition, gay. You should definitely give it a try.

    If nothing else, you may just end up sounding more like one of the grown-ups and less like a giggling 13-year old. (Unless, of course, you are a giggling 13-year old–in which case, my apologies.)

  17. AV

    Define promiscuity? No,

    Yes. You’re the one who claimed, without providing any evidence, that either Oz or myself (you failed to specify who) claimed that “promoting promiscuity with vague references to condom use leads to a decline in HIV.”

  18. Kari Kounkel

    “Unlike the CWYD which, even though they tried to convince us otherwise, was really only of interest to a small minority of Catholics.”

    I’m not reading the entire series of posts, but I just wonder whether this Mardi Gras event has an impact on more people that Catholic World Youth Day.

    Really?

  19. @ Kari, welcome.
    Yes really.

    Pity I didn’t bookmark an excellent news article I came across earlier this week, it had all the facts and figures for the history of the Mardi Gras. From memory though Mardi Gras gets bigger crowds and brings more money into the NSW economy and it doesn’t cost us taxpayers anywhere near as much as CWYD.

    From this article:

    According to the official WYD website, the total number of registered pilgrims was 223,000, including 110,000 from overseas.

    From memory the Mardi Gras has about 80,000 participants and audience of over 300,000. So by shear numbers alone the Mardi Gras is bigger.

    Additionally I believe the Mardi Gras has done a lot to reduce the homophobic attitudes in Australia. It has also helped many GLBT people to come to terms with their sexuality and not feel so alone.

    The Mardi Gras, whilst being specifically a celebration for the GLBT community, gets a huge crowd of people of all sexual persuasions attending the parade. In my view the Mardi Gras is a lot more inclusive than the CWYD will ever be.

  20. Kari

    I’m just not sure why something that trumpets something sexual matters. I don’t trumpet my sexuality.

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