Happy Mardi Gras!

I am again joining the GLBT community to celebrate the 2011 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. This will be my 25th year-I first judged the parade in 1986 and became the first member of the NSW Legislative Assembly to march in the parade in 1992.

The parade is a fun highlight of my year, but its enduring purpose is "say something" about equality and the need for action on prejudice and homophobia.

Last year, the NSW Parliament finally said same sex couples could adopt children, bringing security to the many children being cared for by loving gay or lesbian parents. I am proud to have initiated this change, which took a decade. In 2000, no other MP would vote in support of my first attempt to make this change.

While this is a major advance, the NSW and Australian parliaments still need to say a lot more. Our parliaments need to say it's time to close the loopholes which still allow discrimination against lesbians and gay men, and to say its ok for same sex couples to marry if they want.

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