Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 15:07 UK

Flag to fly for murdered gay man

Michael Causer
Michael Causer was beaten to death on 25 July last year

A symbol of gay and lesbian pride will fly above Liverpool Town Hall for the first time - 10 months after a gay teenager was beaten to death in Huyton.

The hoisting of the rainbow flag will mark the International Day Against Homophobia (Idaho) on Sunday.

The gesture follows the murder of hairdresser Michael Causer, 18, who was set upon on 25 July 2008 in what a court heard was a homophobic attack.

Mr Causer's family are also to be presented with a book of condolence.

James O'Connor, 19, of Runcorn, admitted murdering Mr Causer at a house in Huyton. He was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court in March.

Homophobia is unacceptable and we want to do everything we can to promote diversity in this great city
Lord mayor Steve Rotheram

Another man Gavin Alker, also 19 and from Runcorn, was acquitted of the same offence at Liverpool Crown Court in February.

To mark Idaho, Liverpool's lord mayor Councillor Steve Rotheram will meet members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and their friends and families at the town hall on Sunday, where they will discuss plans for a Pride festival in the city.

The book of condolence, which was opened after the teenager's death and signed by thousands of people, will be presented by the lord mayor to Mr Causer's parents, Marie and Mike.

Mr Rotheram said: "I'm delighted to be lord mayor when the town hall makes history and flies the rainbow flag for the first time.

"Sunday's event will be a great opportunity for people to not only enjoy themselves but to also get involved with shaping a future Pride festival in the city.

"Homophobia is unacceptable and we want to do everything we can to promote diversity in this great city.

"I hope as many people as possible take part in the event and it's something we can continue for years to come."

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Murder charges over youth's death
12 Aug 08 |  Merseyside

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