On Friday night we proudly raised the Rainbow Flag above Town Hall for the sixth time as part of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.
The flag joins the 200 rainbow banners that the City has flown along Oxford and Flinders Street since 2005 and the giant Rainbow Flag at Taylor Square.
These important symbols help to make clear that Sydney is an inclusive, welcoming, GLBTI friendly city and that we are proud supporters of our GLBTI community. Despite much progress, challenges remain, including marriage equality and discrimination by educational institutions.
This year, we're celebrating 25 years of the NSW Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers - the GLLOs - and 100 years of women in policing.
The program has been an effective way of bringing police together with the LGBTIQ community to improve relationships - there are now 176 GLLOs across NSW. A visual history of the program will also be on display at the Sydney Police Centre throughout Mardi.
Last August, the City renewed its sponsorship of Mardi Gras and the parade for a further three years and in raising the Rainbow Flag last week, we commit ourselves to continue to work on those issues, while celebrating all that is unique about this community, and all it has given to Sydney.
I hope to see you all in the Parade. It will be my 29th year of involvement with Mardi Gras, and once again, we'll have a spectacular City float to underline our commitment as a City to equality, social justice and diversity.
For more information about Mardi Gras events, head to: http://www.mardigras.org.au/
Photo: Supt. Tony Crandell, Paul Savage (Mardi Gras Board Co-Chair), Fran Bowron (Mardi Gras Board Co-Chair), Alex Greenwich MP.