GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council is flying the flag against homophobia.

County councillors passed a unanimous motion to support International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and will raise the rainbow flag high above Shire Hall in Westgate Street, Gloucester.

The event on Saturday, May 17 aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.

While attitudes towards LGBT have improved in our society the council recognises that homophobia and transphobia remains a problem in some schools and sport and is keen to promote a more positive message.

Gloucestershire County Council is proud to be an LGBT friendly employer and supports the district council partners, the police, the NHS and voluntary organisations who will mark this day with events, campaigns and statements of support.

Leader of the Labour party, Lesley Williams, who proposed the motion, said: “Flying the rainbow flag above Shire Hall sends the powerful message that as a council we condemn homophobia and promote equality in our own community.

“The campaign against homophobia and transphobia still has a long way to go and it’s important that we don’t forget the vital work that’s still needed, such as supporting gay and lesbian young people in challenging homophobia in schools.”

Cllr Paul McLain (Con, Battledown and Charlton Kings) said, “We’re proud of all the steps we’ve taken, and will continue to take, to stamp out bigotry in all its forms.”

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Lib Dem, Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach) said: “This motion might seem like a token gesture, but it’s not. It shows we believe in equality and we believe in tolerance”.

Cllr Richard Leppington, representing UKIP and Cllr David Prince, representing the Independent group, both agreed they were happy to support the motion.

The council also expressed its support for Gloucestershire Pride which will be held on Saturday, June 14.