Malcolm Turnbull narrowly avoided a ban on being invited to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade as an official guest – but the group that spearheaded the motion is planning to make sure he gets the message.
In November last year the Mardi Gras AGM voted in favour of a motion that would have seen Turnbull – who was the first Australian prime minister to attend the parade – uninvited as an official guest.
But the motion was controversially rejected by the organisation's board at a meeting two weeks later, after it ruled the motion was unconstitutional.
The initial motion was moved by LGBTI activists Cat Rose and Patrick White, members of the Sydney group Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH).
Last year CAAH's joint "No Pride In Detention" float, with the Refugee Action Coalition and the Riff Raff Radical Marching Band, was devoted to asylum seeker advocacy.
This year it has twin messages: "No Pride In Detention, No Pride In Turnbull".
Rose told BuzzFeed News the group would march with t-shirts that read, "Turnbull out of Mardi Gras, Turnbull out of parliament".
"We want him to hear that we're angry," she said. "We've been waiting way too long for equal rights and we're not accepting his phony friendship. It's so transparent to turn out at Mardi Gras, as he's done each year, and put on a gay-friendly face without being forced to actually do anything.
"I'm not interested in him being at the parade, I'm interested in him actually doing something."
Rose listed Turnbull's support of the government's plebiscite policy and the ongoing campaign against the Safe Schools anti-bullying program as areas where he had let down the LGBTI community.
"We had MPs using their parliamentary privilege to attack us as pedophiles [during the Safe Schools debate]," Rose said.
"It wasn't just that Turnbull allowed that argument to happen, and allowed the program to be ransacked. But on all issues, [it's] the way he has backed up the appalling views of his colleagues as legitimate opinions that need to be listened to."
In November, Turnbull appeared unruffled by the motion to remove him from the invitation list. He told Sky’sViewpoint program that he had so many other parties to go to, it wasn’t a problem:
CHRIS KENNY: Finally, the un-invitation you’ve received to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Is that a personal and partisan insult?
TURNBULL: Well, you know, I’ve had so many invitations from friends to go to their Mardi Gras parties that if Lucy and I do decide to go to the Mardi Gras next year, we’ll have no shortage of opportunities and cheerful company to enjoy it with.
Labor's Bill Shorten also marched in the parade in 2016, making him the first opposition leader to do so.
During last year's parade, tensions spilled over between the No Pride In Detention float and the Rainbow Labor float, which were initially placed next to each other in the line-up.
After No Pride In Detention protested a press conference with Labor leader Bill Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek, it was admonished by Mardi Gras staff and eventually pulled back a couple of places in the parade so as to separate the groups.