The last time Mudgee resident David Allworth was at the Darlinghurst Police Station in Sydney was 40 years ago bailing out friends and co-workers who had been arrested at the first Gay Mardi Gras in 1978.
He was there again as part of attendance at the 2018 Mardi Gras.
“How things have changed for the better for the gay community since that brutal night,” Mr Allworth said.
“Since then homosexuality has been legalised, nearly two-thirds of Australia supports marriage equality for gay people and a police contingent marches in the Mardi Gras, change for the good happens.
“The visit to the former Police Station metres from the centre of activities of this year’s Mardi Gras served to remind me of how far we have come as a community,” he said.
Mr Allworth reflected that despite the improvements, ‘there is still work to be done’.
“One priority for change still is the churches who campaigned so hard against the Yes vote last year,” he said.
“We need to persuade the churches to follow the example of acceptance of gay people displayed by the broader Australian community. An acceptance that says we do not shun you.
“The attitude of the churches is important because they control so many large institutions, schools, welfare agencies and the like. Gay people should not have the slightest sense that they may be shunned in these institutions. They must feel welcome,” he said.
“On track record there is hope, but there may be a bit of work ahead.”