Gay rights group Pride in Canterbury closes as founders move from city
Pride in Canterbury
founders Martin Lammas and Andrew Brettell
by Joe Walker
The founders of a gay rights group in Canterbury have fired a
parting shot at the city after deciding to move from the area.
Andrew Brettell and Martin Lammas, who formed Pride in
Canterbury nine years ago, slammed attitudes towards the GLBT (gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community as they prepared to
set up home in the more “gay-friendly” city of Norwich.
The couple have long-criticised Canterbury City Council and the
lack of a gay scene in the city.
And they pulled no punches when announcing their plans to leave
Canterbury for pastures new.
In a statement on the Pride in Canterbury website, which will
now be archived, they said: “We believed in our goals and we still
believe that true equality must come to this area one day and that
is important, for both GLBT people and for the city as a whole, but
we are not getting any younger, and the opposition and indifference
to our work has made us realise sadly that it probably will not
happen while we can fully enjoy it.
“We are therefore moving to Norwich, a vibrant city, where the
progress towards GLBT equality is already taking place.
“We believe that we can be happy there, that it is a city in
which we can relax and feel that we belong.
“Young, middle-aged or old, there is little for gay people in
“We have lived in Kent for almost 24 years now, years in which,
in spite of the tremendous progress made elsewhere, the GLBT scene
has almost disappeared throughout the county.”
In 2009, Mr Brettell complained the city was a “cultural
wilderness” and one of few in England without any gay bars.
Pride in Canterbury also made an official complaint about
Canterbury City Council to the Local Government Ombudsman.
But an investigation found no grounds for the group’s claims,
and even added that the organisation had been given funding by the
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