Raising the flag
Public, private and voluntary sector organisations in Nottinghamshire are coming together to make a united stand against all forms of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and launch a new initiative against hate crime.
Partners including the County Council, City Council, Police, Fire and Rescue, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the Police and Crime Commissioner will raise the Rainbow Flag at a ceremony at County Hall, West Bridgford on Monday 11 May (11.10am).
The ceremony will launch a series of events across the county and the city on the run up to the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on 17 May. Over 100 Rainbow flags being raised at locations across the county, including at all district and borough council offices, both universities and a number of businesses, schools, colleges and hospitals.
The event commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder and is an annual landmark day for everyone who opposes prejudice and discrimination.
The County Council proactively promotes its services to the LGBT community, including civil partnerships and marriages through its registration service and opportunities for fostering and adoption.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue and Nottinghamshire County Council were all named in the top 100 gay-friendly workplaces in the UK by Stonewall this year, with the Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust ranked at number one.
Richard Townsley, Chair of the Nottinghamshire IdahoBiT Group, said: "Nottinghamshire has taken a stand against discrimination. All across Notts and Nottingham the rainbow flag will be flying high and proud thanks to the work of our local LGBT community and the support of so many organisations."
Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: "One of the County Council's core values is 'treating people fairly' and we passionately believe that no-one should be discriminated against for their sexual orientation or because of their gender identity.
"I am delighted that the public service providers in Nottinghamshire are coming together to make this very public statement. The Rainbow Flag is a symbol of our on-going commitment to value equality and diversity for all in the organisations and the communities we represent."
To coincide with the event, Nottinghamshire Police is launching a campaign to encourage people to report hate crime and setting up a new North Notts LGBT Independent Advisory group.
Ted Antill, the Nottinghamshire Police lead for hate crime, said: "We take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously. We work very closely with our partners and have recently appointed a dedicated hate crime manager to the force, which will be funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
"We want the public to know you should not tolerate hate crime, so please report every incident to us. We will listen to your concerns and work with you to stop it from happening again."
If you have experienced hate crime, or know if someone that has, call 101 or in an emergency dial 999. You can also report online at www.report-it.org.uk ."
Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, added: "Hate crime, in its many forms, can cause deep distress and fear. This is a disgusting crime that really impacts on the quality of people's lives and is usually driven by hostility, prejudice or hatred. It is the responsibility of all of us, not only to support and encourage people to report it, but also to challenge this poor behaviour."
Scores of events are taking place across, from scrolling messages at over 1,100 Nottingham City bus stops and the lighting up of Nottingham Castle in rainbow colours, to themed events for students at North Notts and West Notts Colleges and roadshow event at Worksop Market.
In fact Joel Bedos, Chair of the international organising committee, based in Paris believes Nottinghamshire may be the most active area in the entire country.
Mr Bedos said: "People in Nottinghamshire have been tremendously active and successful in bringing homophobia and transphobia to public attention around 17 May. It looks very much like Nottingham will be the most IDAHOT friendly place in the UK this year."
For further information on this press release please contact:
Rob Shirley, Senior Media Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council on 0115 977 2802
Posted on Tuesday 12th May 2015