Council flies flag for diversity

The Rainbow Pride flag was hoisted outside the Scenic Rim Council chambers today to recognise the LGBTIQ community in the region.

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

IDAHOT is a global day aimed at drawing attention to the discrimination and violence committed against same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people across the world.

In Queensland the Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexuality.

Advocacy group, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), expressed their gratitude to Scenic Rim Mayor, Greg Christensen and the councillors for expressing their support for all people of diverse sexuality and gender in the Scenic Rim community.

PFLAG representative, Janet Berry, said this action by the Scenic Rim council will mean a lot to LGBTIQ people living in the region.

“LGBTI people make up about 15% of our community,” she said.

“Most of them lead happy and fulfilled lives, however LGBTIQ people have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-harming and suicide.

“This is not because of their identity, but due to the prejudice, discrimination and, occasionally, the violence they face simply for being who they are.”

Mayor Greg Christensen said flying the flag outside council's Beaudesert administration building would raise the standard against intolerance and discrimination.

"The flag is an important symbol for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning people and raising it outside council's offices is an outward sign of inclusion and diversity within the Scenic Rim community," he said.

"Our community recognises that intolerance and discrimination have no place in modern society and these values of respect and inclusion are shared by council.

"By flying the Rainbow Pride flag, we affirm that all people, regardless of sexual identity, are entitled to live their lives with dignity and respect."