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Sun shines on rainbow flag over council chambers

Celebrating the rainbow flag raised over Lismore City Council chambers.
Celebrating the rainbow flag raised over Lismore City Council chambers. Samantha Elley

RAISING the rainbow flag over Lismore City Council chambers has been 50 years in the making, according to Councillor Darlene Cook.

The flag was raised last Thursday morning in line with the June council meeting motion that was passed to include the action that "Council fly a rainbow flag or banner in a prominent place in the city until marriage equality is achieved at a federal level.”

”I have been campaigning for equal rights for nearly 50 years,” Cr Cook said.

Ready to raise the rainbow flag up the flagpole at the Lismore City Council chambers.
Ready to raise the rainbow flag up the flagpole at the Lismore City Council chambers. Samantha Elley

”It started with decriminalisation in the 1970s and worked through with equal access to superannuation, pensions, our children and our end-of-life experience.

Cr Cook said without equal rights members of the LGBTQI community could have their wills overturned as their relationships weren't seen as legal.

”This is the apex of the campaign,” she said.

Cr Darlene Cook celebrates the rainbow flag raising at the Lismore City Council chambers.
Cr Darlene Cook celebrates the rainbow flag raising at the Lismore City Council chambers. Samantha Elley

When looking for a prominent place to fly the rainbow flag Cr Cook said Lismore City Hall was discussed but they didn't have a flag big enough.

”Lismore City Council supports its LGBTQI community,” she said.

The motion also included the actions that council would write to all federal members of parliament and the Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission advising them of their support for marriage equality.

Cr Cook said the flag had special meaning and to see it flying high above council chambers was a real turning point.

The rainbow flag flies high above the Lismore City Council chambers.
The rainbow flag flies high above the Lismore City Council chambers. Samantha Elley

”It has been a symbol for us for the last 50 years,” she said.

”We have protested, partied and danced under this flag.

”I never thought I would see the day.”

A small gathering of supporters cheered as they watched the flag go slowly up the pole and wave prominently in the breeze as the sun came out from behind some clouds.

Topics:  cr darlene cook equal rights lismore city council rainbow flag


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