MP Ian Ollis and the Gay Flag of SA
Africa’s first openly-gay politician and parliamentarian, Ian Ollis, has agreed to become a representative of the Gay Flag of South Africa.
“The gay flag of SA combines two key ideas – a free South Africa and rights for LGBTI,” commented the Democratic Alliance (DA) MP and Shadow Minster for Labour.
Ollis came out publicly on Mambaonline.com in 2009, when he was a DA city councillor in Johannesburg, just before the elections that saw him move to Parliament.
Along with his growing visibility as an MP, Ollis has become a vocal supporter of LGBT rights in Africa.
“I am proud to be a gay South African because I was present when South Africa became the first country to get a gay rights resolution approved by the UN Human Rights Commission,” said Ollis.
Ollis played a role in the adoption of the historic resolution in June when he was asked by South Africa’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva to address UN members attending an informal meeting on the matter.
He told Mambaonline that he introduced himself to the meeting as “Africa’s most openly gay politician” and told the delegates that he was deeply concerned about violence associated with homophobia. He also spoke out about ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa.
The resolution, which condemns violence and discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation and compels the UN Human Rights Commission to address the issue, was voted on and adopted a few days later.
The gay flag of South Africa was launched at the Mother City Queer Project party in December last year and has gained much support in the past six months.