The rainbow flag will be raised over West Dunbartonshire Council buildings to recognise pride month as part of the local authority’s annual flag raising ceremony.
Pride month, which is held every year to celebrate the LGBTI community through various global events, will begin on June 1, this year.
During the most recent West Dunbartonshire full council meeting, a motion was brought before elected members by SNP councillor Lauren Oxley which asked them to acknowledge that as well as being a month-long celebration, Pride is also an opportunity to peacefully protest and raise awareness of current issues that are facing the LGBTI community, both at home and abroad.
The motion read: “While we have seen significant progress and advancements in LGBTI equality in Scotland over the last 20 years, recent reports have found that a rising number LGBTI people believe that homophobia and transphobia are on the rise, and that biphobia remains a problem.
“The motion asks West Dunbartonshire Council to show solidarity with the LGBTI community by recognising Pride Month through the annual flag-raising ceremony, and on our social media channels, highlighting the importance of the month and why we must continue to support our LGBTI family members, friends, colleagues, and constituents.”
Speaking about her motion, councillor Oxley said Scotland was generally seen as a progressive and welcoming country, with same sex marriage recognised and adoption and fostering rights strengthened for LGBT couples. .
Cllr Oxley said: “Additionally, 2023 marks 20 years since the repeal of section 28 - a horrific piece of legislation that banned the teaching and promotion of homosexuality in schools, depriving generations of LGBT pupils the chance to learn about people like them and creating hostile attitudes and environment.
“However, despite these recent advancements towards equality, LGBTQI people still experience discrimination in public spaces, bullying in schools and hateful media coverage.
“Many countries across the world are still considered dangerous for the LGBT community as there is a high risk they could be harassed, abused or jailed for simply being themselves.
“This is why it is important to remember that while pride month is an opportunity for both the LGBTQI community and our allies to come together to recognise how far we have come, there is still much progress to be made.
“We must commit to fighting for social justice for all. The first ever pride event in 1970 was a protest not a parade.
“As a council, we must continue to stand with LGBTI people here in West Dunbartonshire and across the rest of the world. I feel it would be a great sign of solidarity to recognise pride month through our flag raising ceremony, led by the provost in addition to our LGBT history month celebrations held in February.
“Therefore I would ask everyone to support this motion and to support the LGBTQI community.”