Medway Council refuse to fly Rainbow Flag for Orlando victims

Medway Council urged to fly LGBT rainbow flag following Orlando nightclub shooting.


An online petition has been launched to persuade Medway Council to change its mind and fly the rainbow flag at its offices in Chatham, Kent following the mass shooting at the gay nightclub, Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

Local authorities across the UK including Brighton and Hove are flying the Rainbow Flag as a mark of respect following the massacre which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 12.

49 people were murdered, and a further 53 injured, in the deadliest attack in US history at the nightclub that was hosting a night for LGBT Latinos and trans people.

When Medway Council was asked by Medway Labour leader Vince Maple to display the flag at Gun Wharf in Chatham, it refused.

The request was made on behalf of Labour Councillor, Tristan Osborne, who is gay.

Cllr Tristan Osborne

Cllr Tristan Osborne

Cllr Osborne said: “It is not party political it is about showing solidarity with LGBT staff and residents. We are asking for a very small symbol to respect what has happened.

He added: “The petition I have launched is very similar to the one in Plymouth and I’m hoping it will result in a similar response. Plymouth council has understood that it is a very small gesture but an important one.

“Medway is a Stonewall council that prides itself on respecting diversity, and rightly so, so I hope they will look at this decision again.”

“It is disappointing that there has to be a petition at all, I am very unhappy about it.”

The petition has attracted almost signatures in just a few hours.

A Medway Council spokesperson said: “The Orlando tragedy is indeed shocking, and something that will remain in our memories for many years to come.

“In the past we haven’t habitually changed flags at Gun Wharf to recognise international tragedies.”

To sign the petition, click here:

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