Council replies to complaints

COFFS Harbour City Council is holding firm under a stream of protest from local residents opposed to the CoastOut Festival.

A spokesperson, who would not disclose how many letters of opposition had been received, said each one had been replied to explaining council’s position. He said that any group which sought council support for staging of an event first needed to meet a range of criteria, all of which CoasttOut organisers had satisfied.

One of the event organisers expressed surprise at the level of complaint.

“This is just a two-day sporting and cultural event which has already sparked the interest of some high profile sportsmen and women,” he said.

“CoastOut is about giving the many hundreds of local gay and lesbian residents and their friends a place and space to be themselves. Within our small organising team for CoastOut are people of diverse backgrounds and there are mothers and fathers.”

“The festival is not and has never been about sex or promiscuity.”

A well-known local Christian leader said she was not entirely surprised that strong anti-gay views still existed.

Jan McLeod is the retired SCU Chaplin who was one of the first women ordained in the Anglican Diocese of Grafton.

“While I am personally extremely saddened by sexual promiscuity, be it homosexual or heterosexual, I believe the debate about homosexuality is very much alive in many church communities as the inclusivity of God is discussed,” Mrs McLeod said.

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