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By Philip Dorrell
Univ has become the latest college to pass a motion supporting the flying of LGBT flags during LGBTQ History Month.
Univ JCR noted: “It is LGBTQ History Month and this JCR wants to help our LGBTQ members celebrate and commemorate their history, to show our support for them.”
The motion was one of many JCR initiatives to commemorate LGBTQ History Months including a cross-common room, a lantern release memorial and a time capsule of letters addressed to LGBTQ students in the future.
The motion was proposed by Otamere Guobadia, the LGBTQ rep, who commented: “Flying a flag would be such a public way of [...] telling people to come as they are. I thought it would have such a significant impact not just in college, but across the University.
“We’re at the centre of the High Street. People will see, People will talk, and hopefully people will change, and maybe some people will have the courage to try and live honestly.”
The motion was supported unanimously by the JCR and thus resolved to “Purchase a Rainbow Flag (If there isn’t one already)” and “Fly a rainbow flag in celebration of LGBTQ history Month, on Thursday 28th February.”
Matthew Small, a supporter of the motion from Univ, commented: “As well respected and influential institutions, Oxford colleges have a responsibility to encourage thought and debate about such important matters.”
This is the first time that Univ has voted in favour of flying the LGBTQ flag but it remains to be seen whether college authorities will eventually fly the flag.
St Anne’s have also passed a JCR motion for the third year in a row to fly the LGBT flag, despite previous efforts being obstructed by college officials who argued that allowing the LGBT flag would be a slippery slope to allowing many other flags as well.
This has prompted anger amongst the college’s LGBTQ community and Cai Wilshaw, a supporter of the motion at St Anne’s, is pushing for 2013 to be the year where this motion is followed through to completion.
Wilshaw commented: “One of the main reasons I am so proud to be at St Anne’s is its focus on equality, on dispelling the traditional myths about Oxford colleges.
“Not allowing the LGBT flag to fly goes against all these values. I think it would be a great shame if the College went against the JCR once again on a matter which is clearly so important to so many.”
Both Univ and St Anne’s were unavailable for comment.