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Australian prime minister marches in Sydney Mardi Gras for first time

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made history Saturday at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, becoming his nation’s first sitting prime minister to take part in the parade, one of the biggest LGBTQ Pride events in the world.

The prime minister in a simple open-necked shirt and jeans joined senior Labor figures — including the New South Wales opposition leader, Chris Minns, and the federal MP for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, drawing cheers from the huge crowds lining the city’s Oxford Street as more than 12,000 participants and 200 floats made their way along the parade route.

Penny Wong, the first openly lesbian member of Australia’s parliament, also took part in the celebrations. On Twitter Albanese noted: “When the first Mardi Gras march was held in 1978, you could still be arrested for being gay.

In the decades since, people dedicated their lives toward the campaign for equality.” Continuing in the thread the prime minister added: “To be accepted as equal and recognized for who they are and who they love.

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