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Good day everyone – welcome to Cork City Hall for an event that has become an important part of our calendar Cork’s LGBTI+ Awareness Week but one with a difference – we may be all in this together but its important to find ways to acknowledge and celebrate our differences too.
As your Lord Mayor at the opening of the 10th but very different LGBTI+ Awareness Week I want to say how proud I am of this Rebel City , one that has demonstrated many times but especially during Covid 19 that it is a Resilient City. Today at the launch of Cork’s 10th LGBTI Awareness Week I’m delighted to announce that Cork has another R to add – we have become a Rainbow City – one of 30 cities internationally who pledge cooperation to promote lgbti+ safety, equality , self-determination, empowerment and social inclusion.
Just three short months ago I signed the Rainbow Cities memorandum , the culmination of almost two decades of activism, advocacy and policy work here in the city. Building on the 2018 Rainbow Memorandum with our sister city San Francisco, the work of our InterAgency Group and the Awareness Weeks held, it demonstrates Cork’s commitment to promoting the inclusion and visibility of lgbti lives and our shared civic determination to respond.
I want to warmly congratulate everyone on the LGBTI InterAgency Group who have worked to secure this affiliation for Cork: all of the public service agencies, lgbti NGOs and community organisations who comprise the Inter Agency Group but especially my colleagues on Cork City Council and also Cork Kerry Community Health Care for their stalwart support of the process over two decades.
This is also Cork Volunteer Week and what a tremendous Rebel Response there has been from volunteers across the city – kudos to LINC and Cork Gay Project for amazing work done to sustain lgbti communities during Covid 19
Cork has the distinction of being the first city to formally raise the Rainbow Flag and today we mark another bit of history – Cork the first city on the island to become part of the Rainbow Cities Network .
Before I raise the Rainbow Flag can I send greetings to all my fellow Mayors in the Rainbow Cities Network, to your cities and citizens, especially your lgbti+ communities. My wish for your city is the same as my wish for Cork – may we all keep well but stay connected, safely as we navigate this Coronavirus crisis . And on IDAHOBIT Day to say very clearly that it is the job of cities, public agencies and communities to challenge homophobia and transphobia.
Beir bua everyone agus fan slán.
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