The work Sutton Council does to champion equality issues in the borough is being symbolised by the flying of the rainbow flag over the Civic Centre throughout Pride Week, which runs until 28 June. The flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag and sometimes the LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.
This year’s Pride Week has the theme of Pride Heroes to celebrate the people and organisations that have contributed to LGBT rights over the years, such as television personality Stephen Fry, the late lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, German singer and actress Marlene Dietrich or former American tennis champion Billie Jean King.
Sutton Council is an Equal Opportunities employer and champions LGBT issues within the workplace. It is also part of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, a good practice employers’ forum on sexual orientation. The council has an LGBT Staff Network for its employees to actively promote the Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy and champion LGBT issues within the workplace.
Cllr Adrian Davey, lead member for Equality and Diversity at Sutton Council, said:
“Sutton is flying the Rainbow Flag this year at our Civic offices to mark the celebration that Pride represents. Pride also represents the need to overcome struggles that diversity can bring and Pride demonstrates the peaceful way that this can be done. I’m sure many Sutton residents will be taking part and taking pride in the celebrations. The council has also been working with the Sutton LGBT Forum, which has donated £200-worth of LGBT books to the Central Library.
Ty Ashby, Chair of Sutton LGBT Forum and Merton LGBT Forum, said:
“It’s great to see the rainbow flag flying for the week because of what it represents. Within Sutton our hero is actor Ian McKellen for the great work he has done for Stonewall and for LGBT rights. We have donated to Sutton library £200 of new LGBT books that cover the whole spectrum from gay marriage to lesbian parenting in order to help the community in Sutton as the Library’s budget has been cut. Should this take off we hope to donate books to schools as well later in the year. In the autumn and winter we are looking to raise more money by selling calendars and staging functions to be able to buy more books for the Sutton teenage LGBT youth group, which meets every Wednesday. We’re a non-profit organisation independent of the council so we just help where we can.”