Macedon Ranges Shire Council will raise the rainbow flag in three locations throughout the shire this month to acknowledge the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
At its April Ordinary Council Meeting, Council considered a request from Cobaw Community Health Service to raise the rainbow flag in Gisborne, Kyneton and Woodend in the week in the lead-up to IDAHOBIT Day on 17 May.
The rainbow flag was raised outside Council offices in Gisborne and Kyneton last year in recognition of IDAHOBIT Day, as well as being flown from the Woodend clock tower. Cobaw requested the initiative be repeated in 2019 through raising the rainbow flag at these three sites, and this was approved by Council following consultation with the Woodend RSL.
Mayor, Cr Janet Pearce said Council was a proud supporter of the internationally-recognised IDAHOBIT Day and its important message.
“Raising the flag is about promoting equality and respect, and demonstrating Council’s commitment to building a just and inclusive community,” Cr Pearce said.
The Woodend Clock Tower Memorial has a single flagpole which normally bears the Australian flag. While Council initially planned to remove the national flag and raise the rainbow flag in its place, the rainbow flag is now planned to be raised on the balcony of the clock tower, and the national flag will remain in place on the flagpole.
IDAHOBIT Day was created to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. It encourages countries, governments, organisations, townships, communities and individuals to challenge homophobia and champion the rights of LGBTI communities everywhere.