Company behind Gloucester LGBT sex club demands public inquiry of council ban

PinkNews Staff Writer September 3, 2009
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The company which hoped to set up an LGBT sex club in Gloucester’s city centre has said it will demand a public inquiry after the plans were rejected.

Opponents of the plans said they would turn the city into “Sodom and Gomorrah“, although the proposal was rejected by councillors with a slim 6-5 majority.

Developing company Mystique hoped to turn the Grade-II-listed New County Hotel in the city centre into a restaurant by day and a sex club by night.

A spokesman for the firm told the Gloucester Citizen: “When asked to declare their interests, the planning committee should consider their religious beliefs and step down if they believe their faith will dictate the outcome.

“I will be demanding a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the refusal.”

He added: “Twenty-three people will not now be employed, life-stylers from outside the area will not now visit Gloucester to shop and the hotel will turn into flats ‘eventually’ when the climate changes.”

Although councillors was instructed not to vote upon moral grounds, Susan Johnson, who spoke to the council on behalf of opponents, invoked Biblical language when addressing the planning meeting.

She said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Following the meeting, she added: “I didn’t use the words Sodom and Gomorrah, but I feel that this would have been the thin end of the wedge, which would only lead to Gloucester turning into that.

”I’m not homophobic, but I can love people and hate their activities. I can still hate the homosexual act. And I certainly hate adultery.”

The planning application read: “The private members’ club would comprise an exclusive venue for people with alternative sexual lifestyles such as gay men and women, bisexual men and women, transvestites, cross-dressers, cross-genders, variables and swingers.”

It was rejected on the grounds that the city centre was an unsuitable location for the venue.

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