British Embassy To Fly The Rainbow Flag

The British Embassy Warsaw will fly the rainbow flag alongside the Union Jack this weekend in support of Warsaw Pride 2008. The Pride March, which marks the end of a week of Equality Days in Warsaw, will pass the Embassy on the afternoon of Saturday 7 June. HM Ambassador Ric Todd will raise the flag over the British Embassy building on Aleje Ujazdowskie at 4 o’clock this afternoon.

The rainbow flag, which is the international symbol of the LGBT community, will fly until 8am on Monday 9 June. Ambassador Ric Todd said: “The UK remains committed to promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people overseas. This small gesture is a symbol of the British Embassy’s commitment to equality and acceptance for all. This weekend’s Pride March will be a celebration of diversity in Poland, Europe and beyond. I particularly hope participants travelling from the UK will enjoy the festivities.”

Last month the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed its commitment to engage with foreign governments about the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. It issued an ‘LGBT Toolkit’ to its 261 Embassies, High Commissions and other diplomatic posts. The kit contains information on the official British policy on gay rights and instructions in how to “provide added value to equality and non-discrimination work.” It covers a wide range of issues, from decriminalisation, sexual health, reproductive rights and health education to bilateral work with other countries. The document states that LGBT activists are often targets for persecution and that the FCO should ensure these people are “included among human rights defenders concerning whom the UK will lobby and will engage the support of other governments, especially EU members.”

Robert Biedron