Councils will no longer be able to refuse the demands of ‘gay rights’ groups to promote homosexual culture in their towns if the Equality Bill is passed, activists have claimed.
Theo Grzegorczyk, a campaigner for the Equality Bill and adviser to openly gay peer Lord Waheed Alli, made the claim after a group in Canterbury complained against the local council for failing to promote gay culture in the city.
This is the second time Mr Grzegorczyk has warned that the Equality Bill will force local councils to bow to the demands of homosexual activists.
On this latest occasion, activist group Pride in Canterbury wanted the council to help them open a gay bar.
The council refused, arguing that it has already provided £4,000 in grants for the group to promote its causes.
According to the council’s website, it has endorsed at least two Pride in Canterbury events in the last two years.
But Mr Grzegorczyk thinks this is not enough. He said: “For all those who have questioned whether or not the Equality Duty is practical or necessary: here is your answer.
“This is a council who have been able to wiggle their way out of engaging with members of their own community, simply because the law doesn’t require it.
“Fortunately, Canterbury City Council won’t be able to use that defence much longer.”
The Equality Bill will introduce a new duty for public bodies to promote ‘equality’ on grounds including sexual orientation and religion. Its supporters have already claimed that it will “entrench” gay rights in “all aspects of public life”.
Mike Judge of The Christian Institute said: “Some homosexual activists are convinced that a local council should fund every single project they dream up, and if it won’t they cry ‘homophobia!’.
“They appear to be saying, ‘just you wait until we have the Equality Bill’. They are clearly gearing up to use the Bill against any public body that doesn’t meet their demands.”
Pride in Canterbury has referred its complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman, who is expected to reach a decision this week. The group have been told they are unlikely to succeed in their key complaints.
A council source said: “No council in the land would set up a bar – gay or otherwise. It would be seen as a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Gay pride marches took place in the city in 2005 and 2006. According to reports, representatives from the local fire service and from Kent Police attended in support of the 2006 event.