Pride organiser accuses council of homophobia after it takes down promotional posters

The organiser of a Pride event has accused council officials of homophobia – after they pulled down posters advertising the parade.

Betty Gallacher, chairman of Bourne Out LGBT, is organising Eastbourne Pride, which takes place tomorrow. But she says that she was told to take down posters promoting the parade by East Sussex County Council just twelve hours after putting them up.

When she refused to take them down, council officials allegedly tore them down themselves, reports the Argus.

Revellers at Eastbourne Pride 2017 (Image: Eastbourne Pride)

She said: “I can smell homophobia all over this one. Posters put in the same place promoting a fun fair had been there for three weeks.

“Why did the council allow those posters to stay up but demanded mine come down immediately? Why should we be told we can’t have posters up when the fun fair organisers are allowed?

“Just because our event is for the LGBT community doesn’t mean that we should be treated as second class citizens.”

Ms Gallacher added that she was “appalled” by how “rude and aggressive” a council official had been when talking to her.

However, a council spokesman denied that the posters were taken down for homophobic reasons, saying it was for health and safety reasons.

(Image: Eastbourne Pride)

He said: “Where signs can be placed depends on a number of factors but we do not allow them to be attached to safety railings under any circumstances as this could affect visibility and safety of pedestrians crossing the road.

“We did contact the organisers of the event to give them the opportunity to move their signs from the safety railings, which is not something we would usually do, but were left with no option but to remove them ourselves.”

The spokesperson added that the council would be happy to discuss where the signs could be placed.

The event, which takes place in the coastal town tomorrow, is expected to attract 3.000 people. Last year 2.500 people attended, which was the first year the event was run.