Mayor Andy Burnham joined GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins to raise the rainbow flag at GMP headquarters to mark #IDAHOBIT.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham joined Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and Special Constable Ryan Orme to raise the rainbow flag at GMP headquarters in a show of solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Greater Manchester, across the UK, and the world.
Rainbow flags are also flying from all fire stations in Greater Manchester.
Mayor Andy Burnham said:
“Greater Manchester is world-famous for being a place that has always looked after everyone; it’s a place where everyone can be who they want to be and love who they want to love. Sadly many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people still face hate crime in our region, but our simple message is that it will not be tolerated and we will take action.
“Attitudes are changing around the world, but they’re changing too slowly. Nobody should face abuse, threats or violence because of their sexuality or gender. With our message of cohesion and hope, Greater Manchester is a beacon to the world.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “We are immensely proud to live and work in Greater Manchester, where a big part of our strength is the diversity of our communities. Supporting events like IDAHOBIT is important to demonstrate our commitment to people across Greater Manchester and GMP employees that they are free to be the individuals they are. I want people to know they can live and work safely in Greater Manchester.
“I hope our support for IDAHOBIT gives people the confidence that if they experience hate crime we will take it seriously and support them. I would urge anyone experiencing hate crime not to suffer in silence and to speak up and stand together against hate crime.”
LGBT Foundation Chair Smyth Harper said: “By raising the rainbow flag, our Mayor and Chief Constable have sent a message loud and clear to LGBT people here and across the world – Greater Manchester is a place where everyone is free to be themselves.
“Hatred in all its forms will not be tolerated in our city-region, and real and meaningful action will be taken to combat it. LGBT Foundation is proud to work with the Mayor and emergency services to help build a safe, strong and cohesive community in Greater Manchester.”
Idahobit is a global event marked each year on May 17, which was the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
It encourages people, organisations, and governments to take a stand against violence and discrimination against LGBT people.
There are still at least 81 countries around the world where same-sex relationships are criminalised, 10 of which have the death penalty in place.
Up until the late sixties, being gay in the UK was illegal and Britain has only recently got its own house in order by finally pardoning those individuals still carrying prosecutions for being gay.
If you’ve been affected by hate crime and need support or want to report it, visit www.letsendhatecrime.com to find out more. You can also get help through the LGBT Foundation http://lgbt.foundation - a national charity delivering a wide range of services to lesbian, gay and bisexual and trans communities.