Dr Lisa Nolland, a leading consultant with Anglican Mainstream, the traditionalist and conservative wing of the Church of England, has called for a boycott of Greenbelt, the Christian arts festival which takes place in Cheltenham in August, after leading LGBT and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell accepted an invitation to speak there.
According to Dr Nolland, inviting Mr Tatchell to speak at the festival will put more children at the risk of sexual abuse. On the Anglican Mainstream website on 12 May, Dr Nolland wrote: “Would a committed racist, pimp or Moslem with four wives and twenty-one children be put in the 2010 Greenbelt line-up if their poetry or art was unexcelled or their science was solving the problem of world hunger?”
Mr Tatchell has responded by saying that his speech is not about teen sexuality, sex education or the age of consent, but about the persecution of gay people in Africa. He added: “Dr Nolland is bearing false witness. Her claims are partial, selective and distorted. Anglican Mainstream is colluding with her misrepresentations by giving them a platform on its website.” Mr Tatchell also thanked Anglican Mainstream for the controversy they have generated over his invitiation, as it has helped raise extra interest in Greenbelt and boost ticket sales.