This month, June, is Pride Month and the council is expressing support and solidarity to LGBT+ communities in Warrington.
June is traditionally Pride Month in the UK, coinciding with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. These were a series of confrontations between police and gay rights activists outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. As the riots progressed, an international gay rights movement was born.
Although Pride events, marches and celebrations will be on hold this year as a result of coronavirus restrictions, the council is still committed to showing its support and recognition to LGBT+ communities in Warrington.
Cllr Hitesh Patel, Cabinet member responsible for equalities, said: “Pride month is always a significant period in the calendar when we recognise the issues facing our LGBT communities, as well as celebrating and promoting the impact that LGBT people have made, and continue to make, to society.
“When we see the continued struggle of our liberation groups for equality – including the Black Lives Matter campaign and the recent rallies across the US to campaign for the rights of black transgender people following the deaths of two black trans women – it’s important to throw our full support behind those who are fighting systemic intolerance and discrimination. Pride Month is a ray of light amid the global challenges we are currently facing and I hope that our LGBT+ communities are celebrating the month suitably, albeit in different ways given our current restrictions.”
The council is also taking its own action to support LGBT+ people. Last year, it joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme to help ensure that LGBT+ staff are accepted without exception in the workplace and the community. Stonewall is the UK’s leading LGBT+ rights organisation, which supports LGBT+ individuals and partner organisations.
Director of Education, Early Help and SEND services at the council, Paula Worthington – who is also the council’s LGBT+ lead, said: “In Warrington, we want to be a workplace which is fully inclusive and promotes a supportive working environment for all of our employees.
“We’re committed to playing our part to stamp out inequality and our work with Stonewall will help us to ensure that we have a workplace which is accepting, tolerant, respectful and treats everyone as equals.”