IDAHO flag

Rainbow flag flying high

by Ashley Houghton

Club backs IDAHO campaign.

Sunderland AFC is marking the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) by flying the rainbow flag at the Stadium of Light.

The flag-raising is a mark of recognition of IDAHO Day which calls for respect for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

The mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Heron, says the raising of the rainbow flag shows the city understands its diverse cultures.

“Sunderland continues to support IDAHO Day and the flag-raising event demonstrates a commitment to understanding and celebrating the cultures that make Sunderland special,” Cllr Heron said.

“The City Council is a Stonewall Diversity champion and it is only fitting that we use IDAHO Day to make it clear that unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation are unacceptable in our city.”

Ryan Houston, Chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Forum (LGBT), also spoke of his delight at the progress the city of Sunderland has made in the fight for equality.

“IDAHO Day is celebrated across the world and marks the changing attitudes by organisations towards the fight to equality.

“Member organisations of Sunderland partnership have all been recognised as Stonewall Diversity champions.

“This demonstrates that more organisations are recognising that people perform better when they can be themselves.”

People who have experienced or witnessed homophobia or transphobia in Sunderland can report this to a confidential reporting line, Sunderland ARCH, on 08000 778 378 or visit any of a number of reporting centres throughout the city.

Sunderland has a dedicated Facebook page ( for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to share thoughts, find out what’s going on and raise issues of concern.