Council flies rainbow flag for IDAHOBIT

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye and chief executive officer David Morcom at the Raglan Street roundabout in Sale, where the rainbow flag was flown to support IDAHOBIT. Photo: Contributed

Wellington Shire Council flew the rainbow pride flag at locations in Sale and Yarram on Tuesday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The flag was flown at the Raglan Street roundabout in Sale and Yarram Memorial Park as council joined cities and towns from across the globe, including other Gippsland councils, to mark the day.

The day celebrates LGBTIQA+ people globally, and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.

Wellington Shire Council chief executive officer David Morcom said council was proud to support IDAHOBIT.

“Wellington Shire Council is an equal opportunity employer. Our people and the community are at the heart of everything we do,” he said.

“Organisations who do not promote and celebrate diversity among their workforce are missing out, it just makes sense.”

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said flying the flag was a way for council to stand up against the discrimination that still exists in the community.

“As an organisation we are saying not only to our wider Wellington community, but also to our own employees, that we support LGBTIQA+ people,” Cr Bye said.

“It’s important that while we embrace and celebrate the LGBTIQA+ people who make up our diverse community, we also have to acknowledge that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still exist.

“This type of discrimination has a devastating impact on the entire community and Council is saying this is not ok.”

The day was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTIQA+ people, with May 17 chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

For LGBTIQA+ people requiring support, Council encourages the use of networks such as Switchboard Victoria: www.switchboard.org.au