Announced yesterday by council’s Field Services Committee chairman, Cr David McLachlan, Story Bridge will for the first time be lit in rainbow colours specifically for International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17.
This news came following Tuesday’s heated debate in council’s Question Time, where another suggestion raised by Cr Victoria Newtown to raise the pride flag at City Hall for IDAHO was shot down by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk – who stated he preferred “actions rather than symbols” when it came to representing the Brisbane LGBTI community.
The suggestion of lighting the bridge during the Brisbane Pride Festival later this year was first raised by Newton in December and reportedly met with laughter from other councillors in the chamber.
In a statement released today, a spokesperson for the Lord Mayor said: “Council supports the message behind the International Day against Homophobia which is why council is lighting up one of our most iconic features in Brisbane,”
Answering questions addressing the Lord Mayor’s position over allowing the Story Bridge lighting but not allowing the raising the pride flag at City Hall, the spokesperson said the building had only ever flown three flags on the building itself – the Australian, Queensland and Brisbane flags.
“The three government flags are the only flags ever raised at City Hall.” the spokesperson told the Star Observer.
A follow up internet image search resulted in numerous pictures clearly showing that on several instances, council has flown different flags from poles on City Hall’s front facade (see image above).
One image even shows the French flag being flown from building’s central flag pole (below).
The Lord Mayor has been contacted for further clarification on the issue.
In addition to the bridge lighting council has indicated that it planned to work with the Brisbane Lesbian and Gay Action Group on an event for IDAHO.
“Council is working… to arrange a venue for an event to commemorate the International Day against Homophobia.”