Flying the flag for Pride 2013

Council, police and fire chiefs in East Sussex have joined forces to back this week’s Brighton Pride celebrations.

East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire & Rescue service showed their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by raising the rainbow flag at the council’s headquarters.

The police and fire service feature among Stonewall’s top 100 gay-friendly employees for 2013, while the county council ranked 14th out of 42 authorities in the charity’s Education Equality Index, which recognises steps taken to combat homophobic bullying.

County council chief operating officer Kevin Foster was joined by chief constable Martin Richards and deputy chief fire officer Gary Walsh for an official flag-raising ceremony at County Hall, in Lewes, on Monday 29 July 2013.

Mr Foster said: “As an authority we are very proud of our record in promoting equal rights in the workplace for the LGBT community and raising the flag during Pride week is a visible symbol of our commitment to equality.

“Our high ranking in the Stonewall Education Equality Index is a sign of our determination to ensure the current generation of young people grow up learning that homophobia, like other forms of discrimination, is unacceptable.”

Chief constable Martin Richards said: “I’m delighted to be present again at this year’s raising of the rainbow flag in Lewes with our partners.

“Sussex Police is proud of its continued support and commitment to engaging and building trust with the LGBT community throughout Sussex.

“On Saturday 3 August 2013 officers and staff will once again join colleagues from other forces at the Brighton & Hove Pride festival, which has become a national event and the highlight of the summer for many of the LGBT community.”

Deputy chief fire officer Gary Walsh said: “East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are delighted to be able to show our continuing support and commitment to our communities across East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove.

“Pride is a fantastic celebration of diversity and inclusion and we are pleased to be able to celebrate our very positive relationships with LGBT communities and to be part of the parade, promoting community cohesion.”