The people of Greater Manchester stand shoulder to shoulder with lesbian, gay bisexual and trans people across the world who are living under oppression, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner says.
Tony Lloyd was speaking on the eve of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
IDAHOBIT or IDAHO is held on 17 May each year to commemorate the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
On Friday, Tony joined Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy to raise the rainbow flag above police headquarters.
“Flying the rainbow flag above police headquarters sends out an important message, not just to Greater Manchester residents, but also to LGBT people across the world.”
“It is sadly still the case that many states sanction, encourage and legislate for homophobia and transphobia. In parts of the world LGBT people face imprisonment, torture and sometimes death, simply because of their sexuality.
“By having a state institution like the police fly the rainbow flag in this country, it demonstrates there is hope for those who live under oppression. It shows that equality is possible and it shows that they do not stand alone.
“Look how far we have come as a country – for example, the last time England won the World Cup, homosexuality was illegal. The road to equality was long and rocky, but now we have equal marriage and LGBT people make an open and vibrant contribution to the success of our nation.
“I’m proud that GMP are willing to take a stand for equality, and I’m proud that Greater Manchester is a beacon of hope for LGBT people across the world.” Tony Lloyd
Meanwhile, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) have launched a new web app to make it easier for LGBT people to report hate crime.
The web-app is a mobile phone-optimised website, which will enable people to quickly and easily (and anonymously if needed) report hate crime incidents.
Tony added: “We’re rightly proud that Britain is now an equal country, but of course prejudice still exists. We need to make it as easy as possible for people who have been the victim of a hate crime to report it, and this new web-app designed by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation is an excellent tool to build confidence.”
Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “The diversity of Greater Manchester is one of its greatest strengths and it is important that the individuality of every person is respected. We are proud that we have so many openly gay staff in GMP, as it is crucial that the force reflects the society it polices.”
Darren Knight, development manager for the LGF, added: “By working with organisations like ours, GMP is showing its commitment to ensuring that all people across Greater Manchester are kept safe and have the support they need. We will continue to work together to tackle the hate that LGBT communities sometimes face.”
- The LGF’s web app is available at www.lgf.org.uk/report.
- Alternatively, you can also report hate crime by calling police on 101 or visiting report-it.org.uk
- You can also visit one of the reporting centres listed at gmp.police.uk/hatecrime
- #IDAHOBIT2014 on Twitter
- The LGF will hold a vigil in Sackville Gardens at 5pm on Saturday 17 May
Image: (l to r) Chief Constable Peter Fahy, Darrelle Lynch of GMP’s Pride network, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, Darren Knight of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and PC Claire Campbell, also of GMP’s Pride network.