Richard North, 02/09/2005  

According to Pink News, gay men have been warned to stay well away from Gosforth Park in Newcastle next week as the British presidency is to hold an EU Council meeting in the nearby Marriot Hotel.

The park is popular with gays for "cruising", but they have been told that the likes of home secretary Charles Clarke will be attending the meeting, with other interior ministers of the EU member states. This has led Mesmac, a local gay community group (funded in part by the regional health authority), to warn gay men to stay away from the area.

The original information came from Northumbria Police, provoking some controversy. Local politicians have asked why the local council (which passed on the information to Mesmac) felt the need to spend public money warning the gay community of the event.

More to the point, why is it that only the gays get the warning? I would have thought that all the citizens of Newcastle were in equal danger – or perhaps not.


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