Fly the rainbow flag in solidarity with LGBT people across the Commonwealth

July 22nd 2014

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has organised a campaign encouraging Trade Unions, the Scottish Government and Councils across Scotland to fly the rainbow flag in solidarity with LGBT people across the Commonwealth.

The flag will fly on the STUC building for the duration of the Commonwealth Games with Trade Unions across Glasgow and throughout Scotland also flying the flag on their own buildings. The Scottish Government will fly the rainbow flag outside St. Andrew’s House alongside the Commonwealth flag and the Saltire. This marks the first occasion that the rainbow flag has officially flown on a Scottish Government building.

Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary said:

“By flying the rainbow flag, the international symbol of LGBT equality, we aim to recognise the human rights of LGBT people and celebrate the distance that Scotland has come in promoting equality for this group. But our campaign is also a rejection of the anti-homosexuality laws that still exist in 80% of Commonwealth nations.

“42 out of 53 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality resulting in LGBT people being subject to harassment, degrading treatment and even imprisonment or death. This is simply unacceptable and it is right that we should use our Commonwealth Games to raise awareness and promote a more positive vision of the future for a persecuted minority.

“The response to the campaign from Trade Unions, the Scottish Government, and other public bodies across Scotland has been extremely positive and we hope that by flying the rainbow flag we can offer a message of hope to LGBT people across the Commonwealth and remind everyone that LGBT people exist in all countries and their rights should be respected.”

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games said:

“The Scottish Government continues to fly the flag for equality across the world and we are pleased to support this initiative. I agree entirely about flying the rainbow flag during games time, it’s important we reinforce our strong support for and commitment to progressing equality and human rights issues.

“The Commonwealth Games is a chance for us to speak directly to our Commonwealth partners, to share our journey to a more equal society and how we continue to promote LGBT rights. As a patron and sponsor of Pride House, we have put a home for Scotland’s LGBT community and visitors from near and far right at the heart of Glasgow during the Games and I hope others join us in flying the rainbow flag.”

Members of the public are being encouraged to support the campaign by sharing images using the hashtag #gamespride

ENDS

For more information contact Helen Martin STUC 0141 337 8100 hmartin@stuc.org.uk

Or contact the Scottish Government on: SGCCNews@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or 0141 242 5767

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