To mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on Saturday 17 May, Plymouth City Council will be proudly flying a rainbow flag.
The rainbow is part of the IDAHO symbol and the flag will be hoisted above the Guildhall.
IDAHO Day is now recognised by more than 100 countries around the world. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and human rights organisations and celebrities are using the day to raise awareness globally of homophobia and transphobia and demand action from policy makers.
Cabinet member for Co-operatives and Community Development Councillor Chris Penberthy said: “Flying the flag shows our support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. We want people to feel safe and this is one of many initiatives we are supporting to raise awareness of how we want Plymouth to be a welcoming city for people of all backgrounds.”
The Council is working with partners in the city to encourage anyone who is a victim of, or witnesses a hate crime, to report it.
There is a network of safe reporting centres across the city where people can go and report incidents and be sure that they will be listened to and taken seriously. The safe reporting centres include Council offices and Plymouth Citizens’ Advice Bureau and people can report incidents to organisations such as Plymouth Highbury Trust.
Darin Halifax, Community Cohesion Coordinator for Plymouth City Council, said: “We feel it is important that Plymouth City Council flies the rainbow flag on IDAHO Day as a symbol that we do not tolerate homophobia and transphobia in our city. We want Plymouth to be recognised as a welcoming city and one that does not accept prejudice and hatred.”
Between April 2013 and March 2014 Plymouth had 603 reported hate crime incidents. More than 89 per cent of people were satisfied with the response they received from the Council and the police as a result of them making the report. Our target for this year is to encourage more people in Plymouth to report the hate crime they experience.