Police asked not to march at Sydney Mardi Gras parade after alleged murders

27 February 2024, 06:24

Australia Double Fatality
Australia Double Fatality. Picture: PA

Serving police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon has been charged with the murders of Jesse Baird and his partner Luke Davies.

Organisers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have asked police not to march at their annual parade this weekend, after the alleged murder of a couple by a serving officer.

Police on Tuesday discovered the bodies of former television reporter Jesse Baird, 26, and his flight attendant partner Luke Davies, 29, who were allegedly shot dead in Baird’s Sydney home last week.

New South Wales Police Force Senior-Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, who dated Mr Baird until late last year, was charged on Friday with the murders of both men.

Police said Lamarre-Condon provided them with information that led them to the bodies, which were found in a rural area around 124 miles south west of Sydney.

Australia Double Fatality
Participants march in the 45th Anniversary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Oxford Street, Sydney in 2023 (AP)

The Mardi Gras’ board said LGBTQIA+ communities across Australia had been devastated by the loss of the couple, who had planned to celebrate at the parade on Saturday.

In a statement on Monday, they said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board feels that having the NSW Police march this year could add to the distress within our communities, already deeply affected by recent events.

“The board has taken the decision to request that the police do not march in the 2024 Parade.”

The statement continued: “This decision was not made lightly, especially considering that many NSW Police members who participate in the Parade are also members of the LGBTQIA+ community and are navigating the impact of this tragedy alongside us.

“However, we believe that their participation at this year’s event could intensify the current feelings of sorrow and distress.”

Australia Double Fatality
The New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb, second left, waves as she marches in the 45th Anniversary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in 2023 (AP)

Police Commissioner Karen Webb, who has taken part in the annual march since 2006, said she would meet with the organisers to urge the board to reconsider its decision.

“We’re not dealing with a gay hate crime here. We’re dealing with a domestic homicide and … I’m disappointed (by) the position that Mardi Gras board has taken on this issue,” she told Nine Network television.

“This time, more than any in our society, it’s time to come together. We’re talking about inclusion, we’re talking about diversity and to exclude part of that community, I think, sends a wrong message.”

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said he hoped police would be allowed to march, but ruled out withdrawing government funding.

The Mardi Gras began in 1978 as a Sydney street protest against homosexual discrimination that was violently broken up by police.

Uniformed police officers have been marching since 1998 as a gesture of respect and support.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named.

Victims of Sydney stabbings named as heartbroken tributes flood in following attack by knifeman who killed six

A demonstrator waves Iranian and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran

What is the fallout from Iran’s attack on Israel?

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad support' of Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation