Firefighters fly flag against homophobia

Rainbow flag flown by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on International Day Against Homophobia

TO show its support for its gay, lesbian and trans-sexual community, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service raised the rainbow flag in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia at its headquarters at Clyst St George on Tuesday.

Champions for equality firefighters Ollie Baitup from Topsham and Kellie Hawley from Taunton Green Watch, were joined by Deputy Chief Fire Officer Neil Gibbins and members of DSFRS senior management board to raise the flag.

IDAHO Day takes place each year on May 17, marking the anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from their list of mental disorders in 2004.

As recently as 2008, sexual relations between two people of the same sex was still punishable by death in seven countries around the world and still considered some form of crime in more than 80 countries.

The rainbow flag is a sign of diversity, inclusiveness and hope and has been popularised by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people community as The Freedom Flag representing the diversity of the gay community.

The celebration and recognition of IDAHO day reflects the dream of a worldwide community of committed people where everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their sexual orientation.