Newcastle councillors approve branch of Clone Zone

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Efforts by fundamentalist Christians to block a shop that sells sex toys and gay DVDs opening in Newcastle have failed.

Earlier this week members of the city council regulatory committee approved a licence for a branch of Clone Zone to open in the Scottswood Road.

The location, described by the Newcastle Chronicle as in the “gay village,” is close to St Mary’s Cathedral and another shop that sells R18 DVDs, aimed at the straight community.

Among the 28 objectors were the cathedral and the Christian Institute, which is based in the city.

David Edwards, one of Clone Zone’s directors, told the regulatory committee that the shop will be mostly concerned with selling underwear, condoms and other lifestyle items.

The sale of legal R18 pornography, however, requires a licence.

The Christian Institute’s deputy director, Simon Calvert, was disappointed at the decision.

“If this shop was just a lifestyle shop it would not have to go through this rigmarole,” he told the Chronicle.

“That is the most explicit, hard core pornography legally available in the UK.

“It begins to turn this area into a licensed sex shop ghetto.”

Clone Zone has eight branches in major English cities and one in Glasgow.

The Christian Institute has consistently fought against gay equality and was a prominent opponent of laws outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.