SOUTH Ayrshire Council will fly the LGBTI flag to show their support for the community.

The motion was introduced by cllr Laura Brennan-Whitefield of Ayr North and seconded by cllr Siobhian Brown at a full council meeting last week.

Cllr Brennan-Whitefield said: "This will be the first time the flag has been flown outside the county buildings. 

"Most local authorities already do this so this would be a step in the right direction for us. It is simple and low cost. Many people suffer abuse because of their sexual orientation.

"A lot of people are bullied because of their preference and there is still stigma surrounding sexual identification and it is time to challenge this."

Speaking after the decision, Councillor Brennan-Whitefield, said: “I’m delighted every Councillor agreed to this motion at the Council meeting.

"This is another step forward for the Council and our commitment to equality and diversity. The fact that we will be flying the flag for the whole of LGBTI history month is a bold ground-breaking step for the Council, which has never flown the flag before.

“Our administration wants to place the people and communities of South Ayrshire at the heart of everything we do and this was an issue raised with me while campaigning for election, so I’m very happy to be able to make a positive difference in a few months.

“We want to make this the part of a clear and progressive equality agenda that includes lots of positive awareness-raising events and I am looking forward to working with groups and organisations to make this happen. I look forward to seeing the flag flying at County Buildings in February.”

Councillor Brown added: “With a rise in suicides, and an increase in hate crime and social media abuse an evolving problem, the Council decision to fly the rainbow flag in February in support of LGBTI rights is a small, but important, gesture of support.

"It sends a clear and strong message that – as a community – South Ayrshire aims to lead the way in shaping inclusive and tolerant communities that accept everyone regardless of sexual preference, gender, race or belief.”

The council agreed this motion unanimously.