In a first in Melbourne's history, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay attended on Sunday the Australian state's Gay Pride March with 40,000 people. He said he showed up at the parade to express support for gays who are important part of the Victorian community.
He disclosed that the state police department has some gay members and acknowledged it is not always easy being a homosexual while employed in the police because of the 1970s or outdated point-of-view of some officers toward gays.
Mr Lay added that to worsen the situation, some members even have 1950s attitude to police corruption. He made the remarks amid problems with 17 officers who are now facing disciplinary and criminal action due to the cover-up of a drunk police officer who crashed into a Bendigo hotel in 2005.
Also present during the march was Christine Forsteer, a Sydney Liberal councillor and the lesbian sister of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. With her was fiancée Virginia Edwards. The march was timed with the launch of the new LGBTI-focused hopefuls for the Australian Senate under the Australian Equality Party.
Mr Lay explained that this year, 2014, is his first time to attend the Gay Pride March because in previous years he attended bush fire remembrance services.