About half a million people are expected to line Sydney’s streets on Saturday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the first time the annual parade has taken place since Australia legalized same-sex marriage. The event started in 1978 as a protest march for gay rights and the decriminalization of homosexuality but has since grown into a major tourist spectacle featuring leather, sequins, glitter, lasers and dance music. It is now Sydney’s biggest street party and a major focal point for Australia’s gay and lesbian community. Australians overwhelmingly endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage in a postal survey in a country where sodomy laws were still in place in some states until as recently as the 1990s.
March 3 / Reuters