Updated on 29/02/2024

After compromising with organisers NSW Police are now allowed to march in this weekend’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

The new agreement sees participating officers having to attend the parade out of uniform.

In a statement, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb, who has come under fire for her handling of this case , welcomed the decision from Mardi Gras organisers.

“I am delighted that our LGBTQIA+ officers, as well as our other police who are allies and supporters, will be allowed to march this year as they have done for the past 20 years.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an important event on the NSW Police calendar and as Commissioner, I am committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship between my organisation and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Earlier this week Mardi Gras organisers barred police from attending Saturday’s parade to give the LGBTQIA+ community “space to grieve”, after a serving New South Wales Police Officer allegedly murdered a Sydney couple.

Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon has been charged with killing Jesse Baird – who he briefly dated – and Mr Baird’s partner, Luke Davies, who are believed to have been shot with a police issued gun at a Paddington home on February 19.

While conducting a search for the missing couple, NSW Police found two bodies believed to belong to Mr Baird and Mr Davies.

The Australian Federal Police say it won’t march in this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“Noting news reports that the Sydney Mardi Gras board had asked NSW Police not to march, the AFP has also made the decision not to march,” a spokesperson has said.

“While the AFP feels a deep connection and service to LGBTQI+ community, we understand their hurt because of a number of recent events.

“We must always remember that this is an event for, and about LGBTQI+ communities, and those people who love and support them.”

I thank the Mardi Gras Board for the cordial discussions over the past few days.”

After organisers originally barred NSW police from participating, Independent Victorian Senator Lidia Thorpe welcomed the decision.

She says that until police nationwide submit to strong, independent scrutiny and accountability, they’ll have no place participating in LGTQIA+ or in First Nations community events.

“For decades, Queer and Black people have been brutalised and murdered by police, and this continues unchecked every day.”

The Gunnai, Gunditjmara, Djab Wurrung woman made news at last year’s event when she halted the parade in protest against police violence.

Image above: Bruce Baker from Sydney, Australia - Sydney Mardi Gras 2021