A Scottish council is set to shower thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on a controversial homosexual arts festival despite facing large budget cuts, according to the Scottish Daily Mail.
Glasgow City Council is facing cuts of nearly £200 million, and has begun a cost cutting exercise which is expected to see 2,800 workers leave their jobs over the next year.
But the council is still planning to spend £25,000 on the highly contentious Glasgay! festival, a decision which has been branded as “absurd” by critics.
Glasgay! caused a storm of controversy last year after it featured a play, entitled Jesus, Queen of Heaven, which depicted Jesus Christ as a transsexual woman.
This portrayal of Jesus offended the deeply held beliefs of many Christian taxpayers, and hundreds of believers held a candle-lit vigil protesting against the play.
Henry Creechan, who organised protests against the production last year, said: “It’s absurd when people are losing their jobs that the council is pouring public funds into an event like this.
“There is absolutely no public appetite for it. I am shocked and extremely disappointed that after the genuine hurt and anger caused by last year’s festival, yet more money is being devoted to it.”
However, a spokesman for the council defended the funding, saying: “The council has always supported a diverse range of cultural events which have relevance to the many different communities within the city.”
Glasgay! is due to run from October 13 to November 13.
In July 2009 a taxpayer-funded exhibition in Glasgow led to obscene and offensive messages being scrawled over a Bible.
The city’s Gallery of Modern Art was displaying a Bible with pens next to it and a notice reading: “Are there any gay people in the Bible? Out of the tens of thousands of people who appear in the Old and New Testaments, there must have been.
“Same-sex love, such as that between Ruth and Naomi, existed, but has been written out over time.”
Visitors were asked: “If you feel you’ve been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”
A number of crude comments and angry remarks expressing hatred for the Bible’s teaching were left.
The exhibition was in the same gallery which produced a show featuring pornographic images designed to raise awareness of homosexuality.
In April 2009 the exhibition, funded by £240,000 of public money, sparked further controversy when local secondary schools were invited to view it. The visit was subsequently scrapped.