Councillor to fly rainbow flag with pride despite objection

05 June 2018 - 15:36 By Nivashni Nair
Image: iStock

In an act of defiance‚ gay DA councillor Martin Meyer plans to hoist a rainbow flag at Durban's City Hall on Thursday. 

This comes after his motion to debate hoisting the flag and recognising Pride Month in Durban was rejected. The flag is associated with Pride Month.

Meyer told TimesLIVE that when he proposed the motion to debate Pride Month‚ eThekwini Council speaker William Mapena rejected it‚ saying that it was not a local government matter.

Pride Month is observed in June each year to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots have been described as a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

Durban has never recognised Pride Month.

Meyer said the motion was for the flag to be raised in the city‚ for Durban to recognise Pride Month and for sensitivity training for Metro Police to sensitise them to the needs of the LGBTI community.

"The eThekwini Council Speaker would not debate my motion on hoisting the rainbow flag and recognising Pride Month. So on Thursday we will go to City Hall and raise the flag ourselves as the City Hall belongs to all residents including the members of the LGBTI community‚" he said.

He said the flag would also fly at various councillors’ offices.

"These offices are council properties and we will declare these offices as welcoming to the LGBTI community if City Hall is not‚" Meyer said. "In the past we did ask for the flag to be flown. We were once allowed to debate it but it was voted down.

"Other than that‚ we were never allowed to even debate it. That was a time when there was rampant homophobia in the council but that has calmed down a bit since then‚" Meyer said.

The eThekwini Municipality didn't immediately respond to queries.