COUNCIL bosses have shown their support for the gay, lesbian and transgender community by raising the rainbow flag.
The event was is in recognition of annual International Day Against Homophobia (Idaho Day) which calls for respect for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and support for continuing efforts to combat hate and prejudice against it.
Members of the LGBT Equality Forum, partner organisations and supporters joined the new Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Robert Heron to raise the flag outside Sunderland’s Civic Centre.
Coun Heron, said: “Sunderland continues to support of Idaho Day and this flag-raising event demonstrates a commitment in understanding and celebrating the cultures that make Sunderland special.
“Sunderland is a city with a rich tapestry of diverse people.
“We support all parts of our community, including those who can perhaps feel vulnerable or unrepresented at times.
“The city council is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and it is only fitting that we use Idaho Day to make it clear that unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation are unacceptable in our city.”
Ryan Houston, chairman of the LGBT Equality Forum added: “This demonstrates that more organisations are recognising that people perform better when they can be themselves.”
People who have experienced or witnessed homophobia or transphobia can report it anonymously by calling Sunderland ARCH, on 08000 778 378.
For more information, visit www.sunderland-arch.org.uk.
The forum is always looking for new people to join the group. To find out more call 561 1285.