Story Bridge will light up for IDAHO
Brisbane’s landmark Story Bridge will be lit up in the colours of the rainbow for International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17.
The announcement from Brisbane City Council came after a campaign by resident lobby group BLAG (Brisbane Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex & Queer Action Group).
BLAG received a commitment from Hamilton Ward Councillor David McLachlan for "a standing booking for Story Bridge lighting on May 17 to recognise IDAHO in coming years".
In his response, McLachlan described IDAHO as a “significant national event”.
BLAG convenor Phil Browne said the group had also asked council to fly the rainbow flag from council flagpoles and structures on significant LGBT days such as IDAHO.
However, McLachlan demurred on the request to fly the rainbow flag on council property, saying that was reserved for national and state flags.
BLAG is hosting a public event at New Farm Park on May 17 to commemorate IDAHO and to offer support to LGBT residents.
BLAG began three years ago to lobby for three things: an LGBT commitment statement from Brisbane City Council, an LGBT advisory committee consisting of councillors and residents; and an LGBT action plan devised by the advisory committee.
Browne said none of these goals had been achieved under the current council. “What has been achieved is an LGBT web page listing support services, and we’ve also had an LGBT rep appointed to the Inclusive Brisbane Board,” he said.
While crediting council for its support of Brisbane Pride Festival, Browne said BLAG will be surveying political parties on LGBT issues prior to the next council election in 2016.
“We want council to acknowledge that LGBT people are citizens and they suffer a range of health and social problems often many times worst than the mainstream population,” Browne said.
“It’s very appropriate that all levels of government acknowledge that by taking actions to support marginalised communities. BLAG is not asking for anything that any other marginalised community shouldn’t be recognised for.”
BLAG says it will continue to push for council to fly the rainbow flag over Brisbane City Hall on significant dates.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, New Farm Park rotunda, 11am - 1.30pm, Saturday, May 17, 2014. There will be an honouring ceremony to remember those impacted by homophobia and transphobia. BYO picnic lunch. For more information about how you or your group can participate contact BLAG convenor Phil Browne 0428 140 359; or (after May 1) Chief Bates 0427 757 757.
Photo: Brisbane City Council