American actress Lily Tomlin dressed as a rainbow-colored superhero to kick off this year's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, where superheroes marched alongside pairs of brides, pairs of grooms, cheerleaders, nuns, and vampires, the Australian Associated Press reports.
Also, at least 15 of the parade's more than 100 floats in Saturday night's parade promoted marriage rights for gay couples, including those of Amnesty International and Labor Faces for Marriage Equality.
The Australian Marriage Equality Now float lampooned two marriage equality opponents, featuring giant figures of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, leader of the opposition Liberal Party in parliament, speaking to each other in thought bubbles. Gillard was portrayed wearing a wedding dress, Abbott a brief bathing suit.
The marriage equality theme grew out of the "Say Something" campaign, calling for Australians to speak out for same-sex marriage, which has been the topic of heated debate Down Under.
Lisa Papallo and Katja Tempe, dressed as brides on the Marriage Equality float, said it was time to legalize marriage for gay couples. "People should be together that love each other and that's long overdue," Tempe told AAP.
Grand marshals of the parade included American actress Lily Tomlin, U.K. activist Peter Tatchell, and a young couple, Hannah Williams and Savannah Supski, who protested the ban on same-sex couples at Williams's Melbourne school formal.