Knysna’s gays better keep a belt handy. Officials in the small South African town are deploying “pink police” to monitor this weekend’s gay pride parade, where nudity has apparently been an issue in the past. And organizers are blaming religious leaders:
Event co-ordinator Juan Lerm said Pink Police marshalls would clamp down on nudity. An 80-year-old man who has exposed his rear each year – last year he was archbishop of the moon – is to be asked to cover up.
Lerm said the campaign against the Pink Loerie was being orchestrated by the same religious group as in previous years.
“I have great respect for religious views, but can’t cope with hate speech and blackmail. Let’s have mutual respect.”
One pastor, Jerome Nel, took another angle against the march: he and about 400 other people asked the town’s mayor to draw up a referendum and let the people vote on whether or not the flaming festivities should continues. Despite his opposition, Nel insists he has nothing against the gay folk. He just doesn’t want to see them parading down his streets. What a saint, right?