It’s official – Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore has today left NSW Parliament, where she’s been a key decision-maker in the last 24 years.
She’s endorsing Australian Marriage Equality activist Alex Greenwich as her successor for the state seat of Sydney. With her support, he’ll campaign as an independent in the upcoming by-election.
Stepping down as the National Convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Greenwich has today announced long-time LGBTI equality activist in Tasmania Rodney Croome will take over heading up the lobby group.
However, Greenwich will continue to support marriage equality – including addressing the Tasmanian Upper House ahead of their historic vote next week, at the request of the Tasmanian Premier.
Along with newly-elected City if Sydney councilor Christine Milne he’ll also debate the issue against Fred Nile and the Australian Christian Lobby at a special event on October 10.
As he prepares his campaign to represent the city he loves, Greenwich tells Same Same why Clover Moore’s work for Sydney means so much to him.
It will come as no surprise to Same Samers that Clover Moore is my political hero.
Not only was she there for our community before anyone else, but she has remained strong and independent throughout her career in NSW Parliament.
I’m someone who values democracy, and as such I’m having trouble coming to terms with the fact that my vote for Clover Moore at the last state election has been taken away by a combination of Barry O’Farrell, Fred Nile, and the people who are putting shooters in our national parks. It’s easy to focus on the tragic result of this political bullying, but for now I want to recognise all that Clover has achieved for us.
Recently, Clover and I sat down for a coffee, an extra hot soy cappuccino in her case, and we spoke about marriage equality. Clover said she has always viewed to me a marriage advocate, not a “gay” marriage advocate. It was at that moment I realised it is against her fibre to allow any law to consider the “gays” any lesser to the “straights”.
“Clover supported us before it was popular to do so.”
She is an extremely logical person, and the gay law reform that she has championed has been based on the premise that our community shouldn’t be treated any different simply because of who we love or are attracted to. It’s because Clover was prepared to stand up to the major parties that we are now protected by anti-vilifation laws and are able to adopt in NSW.
Clover supported us before it was popular to do so. From fighting for funding for a photocopier for the gay and lesbians counselling service in the early ‘80s to taking on the religious right at an internationally televised debate this year, this straight catholic mum has always been unwavering in her support for us.
Along the way she has also acknowledged our uniqueness, from sitting front row a drag shows in the early ‘80s to marching in the Mardi Gras more times than any other politician, Clover has always respected and celebrated our right to express ourselves.
Today is a sad day for democracy, a sad day for NSW and a sad day for the LGBTIQ community. Clover is being forced out of the place where she has influenced more positive change for our community than any other MP during her 24 years.