MEMBERS of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community are to get more support from Gloucestershire County Council in the future.

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 council recognises the valuable contribution that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people make to Gloucestershire and welcomes the annual day on May 17.

It 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.

A GCC spokesman said it was 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 on the May 17 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 Hodgkinson, (Lib Dem) said: “This motion might seem like a token gesture, but it’s not. It shows we believe in equality and we believe in tolerance.”

The council also supports Gloucestershire Pride which will be held on Saturday, June 14.