Pride March 2015

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Port Phillip Council held their annual Pride March on the 1st February, 2015. Thousands of participants and onlookers flocked to St Kilda, where all let down their hair and put up their hands in celebration of the 20th anniversary, with the theme being ’20 years of pride’.

The March had an overwhelming amount of support, encouragement and participation from the public. About 4,000 people and 130 organisations marched, danced and shimmied their way through St Kilda in the biggest turnout in the event’s history. With bad weather threatening on the day, it proves that nothing can rain on a gay pride parade.

The iconic March celebrated the diversity and pride of the state’s LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex) community. The March is an important way of raising public awareness, countering homophobia, and fostering more support for the gay community, particularly LGBTI youth.

Daniel Andrews stepped out and lead the March this year, doing what no Victorian Leader had done before. He said it was important to send the strongest possible message that every Victorian has the right to be respected and to feel safe “in being exactly who they are”. City of Port Phillip Mayor Amanda Stevens, Councillors, CEO Tracey Slatter, Council staff and local parliamentarians were also among those joining Premier Daniel Andrews in the march.

“That’s something that’s critically important to me and my Government. This is a new government and we have different priorities and equality is not negotiable,” said Mr Andrews. He has promised to continue to push for same sex marriage in the federal sphere and said he will introduce laws on adoption equality – “My view is a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation has nothing to do with their capacity to be a loving and caring parent.”
This is the first time the event has been run by Midsumma Festival. Council this year provided $50,000 plus in kind support worth up to $25,000 – up from the $40,000 worth of sponsorship in 2014.

“We’re proud that St Kilda is home to an event promoting equality and inclusion. Our City places huge importance on these values, which remain relevant to every community,” Cr Stevens said. “We have enjoyed working with the Midsumma Team and are looking forward to discussing ways of incorporating the March even further into our events calendar for residents, visitors and local traders.”

Midsumma Festival Chair Aaron Hockly said St Kilda is a big part of the history of the Pride March.
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary, it is important to recognise that Pride March has been made possible by support from the City of Port Phillip, the Fitzroy St Business Association and the wider St Kilda community — all of whom have welcomed and accepted the LGBTI community,” Mr Hockly said.

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