A ceremony held in Brisbane on the weekend recognised the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Rainbow flags flew at other celebrations across the state — rainbows across Queensland.
A fair day in Brisbane’s Queens Park on Sunday included stalls by LGBTIQ organisations, healthcare providers, and sports groups. Police officers and local politicians attended. The fair also featured live entertainment and speeches.
Those attending the fair day then marched with a rainbow flag through the Brisbane CBD. The march finished at a memorial ceremony in King George Square, led by civil celebrant Gai Lemon. Participants firstly observed a minute’s silence to remember LGBTI people who died as a result of homophobia and transphobia.
First established in 2004, IDAHOT alerts policymakers, the public and media to the discrimination LGBTIQ people still face around the world. 130 countries now commemorate the day on May 17 every year.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and local councillor and longtime LGBTIQ ally Vicki Howard both participated in the day’s events. The four candidates vying for the federal seat of Brisbane — the LNP’s Trevor Evans, Labor’s Pat O’Neill, the Greens’ Kirsten Lovejoy, and the Veterans Party’s Bridget Clinch — also attended.
This Tuesday evening Brisbane City Council is expected to pass a motion declaring their support for marriage equality. The council will also call on the federal Parliament to pass the reform. Lord Mayor Quirk predicted this Tuesday’s debate and vote on the Brisbane City Council marriage equality motion will occur between 5.30 and 6pm.
Brisbane City Hall flew the rainbow flag on the weekend. It will again on Tuesday before Brisbane’s Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge light up in rainbow lights that night.
Rainbows across Queensland
Many cities around Queensland also held picnics and fair days over the weekend to commemorate IDAHOT.
The Ipswich, Somerset, and Townsville City Councils again raised rainbow flags on IDAHOT. Noosa Council and Scenic Rim Regional Council recently announced they will fly rainbow flags for the first time on Tuesday.
Queensland Police Acting Senior Sergeant Rod Bell told the Brisbane fair day that at 9am on Tuesday the Queensland Police Service will, for the first time, raise a rainbow flag at their headquarters on Roma St in Brisbane to commemorate IDAHOT.
In another first, the Queensland Ambulance Service also announced they will fly a rainbow flag on their state headquarters in Kedron Park on Tuesday.
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