ANOTHER Sydney council has voted to raise the rainbow flag this Mardi Gras, doubling the total number of town halls displaying the LGBTI emblem compared to last year.
However, with just over a week to go until the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival kicks off, 18 Sydney metropolitan local government areas (LGAs) are still refusing to say whether they will even consider the idea.
“Joining other metropolitan councils to raise the rainbow flag during the festival will continue to demonstrate Ashfield Council’s support for a creative and inclusive community,” McKenna said in a mayoral minute.
Ashfield Council — which covers the suburbs of Summer Hill, Ashfield and Haberfield — borders the Leichhardt and Marrickville LGAs, both of which have flown the flag for some years.
McKenna said displaying the flag would continue a long tradition of support for LGBTI people in Ashfield, including working with the iconic Darlinghurst Bookshop to source books and DVDs for the area’s libraries, community events featuring talks by queer LGBTI authors and the installation of NSW’s first permanent rainbow crossing in Summer Hill.
McKenna said raising the flag “is in keeping with council’s commitment to recognise and respect all people in our community”.
Ashfield is the seventh Sydney council to have who have committed to hoisting the banner, with the LGA joining Botany Bay, Manly and Pittwatter in doing so for the first time.
The eastern suburbs council of Randwick will debate the matter when Liberal councillor Scott Nash brings forward a motion to be heard on February 24.
Five councils – Penrith, Liverpool, Hornsby, Mosman and Bankstown – have told the Star Observer they will not display the flag.
Two weeks ago, a further six, including Parramatta, North Sydney and Canada Bay, said they would consider the proposal – first suggested by City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore – but none have confirmed if those considerations have made any progress.
Meanwhile Waverley, Willoughby, Rockdale, Canterbury, Burwood and Blacktown councils have all remained silent on the issue.
Earlier this month, Mardi Gras chief executive Michael Rolik said: “The rainbow flag holds great significance within the community and is seen as a symbol of acceptance and equality.
“By having other councils recognise and celebrate this through the raising of the rainbow flag would carry great weight within the LGBTQI community.”
Flying the flag? Maybe
Randwick (Vote on February 24 )
Flying the flag? No
Flying the flag? If they are, they haven’t told anyone