Councillors in South Ayrshire have unanimously agreed a motion to fly the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) – or rainbow – flag at its headquarters during LGBTI history month each February.
The motion, put forward by Councillor Laura Brennan-Whitefield and seconded by Councillor Siobhian Brown, stated: “In line with this administration’s political direction and commitment to promote equality and diversity for all, this Council agrees that for the duration of February 2018 and continuing on an annual basis, this Council will fly the LGBTI pride flag (commonly known as the rainbow flag) on County Buildings to highlight and promote LGBTI history month. Council would continue to follow Scottish Government guidance in appropriate cases.”
Speaking after the decision, Councillor Brennan-Whitefield, said: “I’m delighted every Councillor agreed to this motion at the Council meeting. This is another step forward for the Council and our commitment to equality and diversity. The fact that we will be flying the flag for the whole of LGBTI history month is a bold ground-breaking step for the Council, which has never flown the flag before. Our administration wants to place the people and communities of South Ayrshire at the heart of everything we do and this was an issue raised with me while campaigning for election, so I’m very happy to be able to make a positive difference.”
“We want to make this the part of a clear and progressive equality agenda that includes lots of positive awareness-raising events and I am looking forward to working with groups and organisations to make this happen. I look forward to seeing the flag flying at County Buildings in February.”
Councillor Brown added: “With a rise in suicides, and an increase in hate crime and social media abuse an evolving problem, the Council decision to fly the rainbow flag in February in support of LGBTI rights is a small, but important, gesture of support. It sends a clear and strong message that – as a community – South Ayrshire aims to lead the way in shaping inclusive and tolerant communities that accept everyone regardless of sexual preference, gender, race or belief.”