Northern Grampians Shire councillors assembled out the front of Stawell council chambers at 10am today to participate in a flag raising ceremony for IDAHOBIT day. IDAHOBIT is internationally observed as a day to stand against homophobia, biphobia, interphobia and transphobia. IDAHOBIT was initiated to commemorate the day in 1990 when World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Northern Grampians Shire Council is a member of the Grampians LGBTIQA+ Network and has been participating in IDAHOBIT day by raising the rainbow flag for the past two years.
Mayor Cr Murray Emerson and CEO Ms Liana Thompson, resplendent in cause appropriate rainbow coloured jacket, did the honours of raising the flag.
Cr Emerson said the day was both sobering and a call for respectful inclusiveness.
“Northern Grampians Shire Council has zero tolerance for discrimination, violence or abuse of any form within our community.
“Raising the rainbow flag today for the LGBTIQA+ members of our shire marks the importance of IDAHOBIT day; no one deserves to feel devalued or threatened in any way because of their sexual preference, physical appearance or chosen identity,” he said.
“Diversity is what makes our community vibrant and our LGBTIQA+ residents and visitors participate and contribute greatly to our region in many enriching ways such that they deserve our full support to function and feel welcome.”
Ms Thompson is wholly supportive of the IDAHOBIT cause, “Respectful is one of the core values of Northern Grampians Shire Council.”
“We are very mindful of the importance to cultivate a diverse and respectful workplace and embrace the combined value of our differences at work and in our interactions with the LGBTIQA+ community,” she said.
“It is our utmost aim to make all of the information and services we provide at Council as accessible and inclusive as possible; everyone is equal in our eyes.”