Gay radio station evacuated after bomb threat

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A gay community radio station in Australia has been evacuated after a bomb threat.

Melbourne station was efv received the threat on Tuesday over discussions about equal marriage, sparking a security lockdown and police response.

A statement confirmed that no-one was harmed and no device was found.

It says: “Last night JOY 94.9 received a threat via email. The studios were evacuated according to our emergency response plan. JOY remained on-air throughout and the building was cleared by Victoria Police for volunteers to return.

“JOY strongly condemns this threat against our station and against the LGBTI community.

“JOY will continue to provide a voice, break down isolation, and celebrate the achievements of our diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities.

“Our communities have faced many threats over the years, and this latest one will not silence one of the only LGBTI radio stations in the world.”

The statement continues: “JOY will continue to remain open, producing radio, and welcoming volunteers who are passionate about our purpose and values, including people from many sexualities, genders and backgrounds.

“We will continue to lead by example as an inclusive organisation.

“JOY provides a platform for many views, including about marriage equality and the plebiscite. This threat last night highlights the damage that can be done through a divisive public debate about our community’s aspiration to be equal members of society.

“A plebiscite is a delaying and divisive approach to the issue of marriage equality.

“Parliament can do its job and represent the views of the vast majority of Australians to legislate for marriage equality now, without the need for an unnecessary plebiscite and the risks that it will create for our station, our volunteers, our members and our communities.

“After the Orlando tragedy JOY reviewed its security arrangements, and these were executed in response to the threat last night. JOY will now remain on a heightened security alert, however, we will continue to remain open and producing great radio.”