Rugby council flies rainbow flag on town hall to mark LGBT+ History Month as part of ongoing fight to support LGBT+ people in the borough
The rainbow flag was raised at Rugby's town hall on Saturday, February 1, to celebrate the start of LGBT+ History Month.
Rugby Borough Council flies the flag through February to support LGBT+ History Month and promote equality and diversity throughout the borough and beyond.
History Month was launched in the UK 15 years ago to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community and promote the history of the gay rights movement.
This year's History Month has the theme of Poetry, Prose and Plays to celebrate the community's contribution to the written word, and the month has been dedicated to Lyra McKee, the writer, journalist and LGBT+ advocate who was murdered in 2019 while reporting on riots in Derry.
Last year a survey commissioned by Rugby council and conducted by Warwickshire Pride revealed that 50 per cent of respondents had experienced hatred due to their LGBT+ identity.
This figure was double the national average.
Rugby council said it was alarmed at the results and, while affirming that this problem was something for all people to address, it embarked on a plan of action.
Since then Rugby Borough Council has worked closely with Warwickshire Pride in order to spearhead the borough's work to make Rugby a safe, welcoming place for the LGBT+ community.
Cllr Derek Poole, chair of the council's equality and diversity steering group, said: "We're proud to be flying the rainbow flag throughout February to celebrate LGBT+ History Month and promote the message of equality and diversity throughout the borough's communities."
Daniel Browne, chair of Warwickshire Pride, said: "Warwickshire Pride is really pleased to see Rugby Borough Council showing visible support for the LGBT+ community.
"Latest research shows that hate crimes and incidents against LGBT+ people in Rugby borough are happening at a rate of more than twice the national average.
"That's a shocking statistic, but through our work with the council we are hoping for a better outcome next time research of this nature is carried out.
"Rugby Borough Council is leading the way in Warwickshire with the fantastic work they've been doing with us, and we appreciate their positive action."
For more information on Warwickshire Pride, visit www.warwickshirepride.co.uk