THE COSTA DEL SOL continues to lead the way in fighting social and sexual inequality after Malaga Provincial Council bagged an Andalucian Diversity Award from the regional Federation of LGBT Associations.
The authority has been recognised for its work to promote the values of respect for social integration, sexual and gender diversity.
It comes as municipalities across the region raised the rainbow flag to celebrate World LGBTIQ Pride Day on Wednesday.
Ronda, Alhaurin de la Torre, Fuengirola, Mijas, Torrox, and Mijas councils all offered their support, in addition to long-term sympathisers Benalmadena, Torremolinos, Marbella and Malaga Capital.
The annual international event commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community widely seen as the birth of the LGBT liberation movement.
Benalmadena youth councillor Ana Scherman delivered a rallying call as she said: “We consider it essential to carry out this kind of global and local call, to protest and support all those throughout the world who continue to be persecuted, imprisoned, beaten, and even murdered because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The town has painted a number of zebra crossings in rainbow colours to mark the occasion, but Fuengirola council went one step further and decorated the steps at the town hall entrance.
Mayor Ana Mula gave a stirring speech in which she read out a motion declaring her administration’s commitment to a prejudice-free society which had previously been approved unanimously by councillors.
The rainbow flag will flutter outside both Marbella City Hall and the mayor’s office until next Monday, with an exciting programme of events planned for the summer under the hashtag #Marbelladiversa.
A permanent flag on El Faro beach is also to be replaced by a larger version with a commemorative plaque installed on the flagpole.
It comes as Madrid is currently the gay capital of the world having been chosen to host this year’s WorldPride festivities which run from June 24-July 2.
For the first time ever the event, which has seen tens of thousands of revellers descend on the city, is being held in tandem with EuroPride as millions worldwide celebrate LGBTIQ month.