As our communities pause to reflect on 17 May for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), four Queensland councils will also acknowledge the day by flying the rainbow flag from their respective city halls for the first time.
Brisbane City Council will be joined by the councils of Ipswich, Somerset (Esk), and Townsville in marking the occasion.
Townsville’s Stand Up With Pride treasurer Cheryl Vacchini said it was a sign of strong support from the council, led by Mayor Jenny Hill.
“It shows a willingness to work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities in Townsville to ensure we all feel safe in this great city, especially our young people who are often at the greatest risk,” Vacchini said.
Brisbane City Council recently confirmed that the rainbow pride flag would fly from City Hall on the day and a rainbow light display will also shine from the iconic Story Bridge. BRISBANE IDAHOT EVENTS CLICK HERE
Brisbane City Councillor Vicki Howard, who represents Brisbane’s Central Ward, told QNews she was delighted that council has reviewed its long-standing practice regarding the flying of flags and banners from City Hall and it would send a message of inclusiveness.
“The flying of the rainbow flag certainly holds a lot of meaning for me because its image dovetails elegantly with our wish for Brisbane to be an increasingly accessible and inclusive city, a city where everyone has equal opportunity to be a part of and experience what Brisbane has to offer,” Cr Howard said.
IDAHOT highlights the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally, and remembers those who have suffered, been murdered or chosen to end their lives as a result of discrimination. May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. The date of May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.