Fears a straight strip club in Liverpool’s gay district will cause strife
Liverpool City Council has approved a straight lap-dancing club in the northern UK city’s gay quarter, despite concerns it could lead to clashes in the community.
The Paradise, which will reportedly have a gay manager, obtained permission to open on Stanley Street, Liverpool’s official gay quarter, reports the UK’s Pink News.
Members of the LGBT community fear a venue aimed at straight men was wrong for the area.
‘Bikerman’ posted on social media: “There will be trouble. Designated 'gay' areas serve a valuable purpose in keeping drunk aggressive straights out of the area. I know from experience in Birmingham, Manchester and Bournemouth that dropping a straight venue in the mix will lead to a much less safe entertainment area. Call it a gay ghetto if you wish but it works well because there is always some drunk, straight d**khead out to prove what a real man he is.”
However, 'Edgar Carpenter wrote: "...[Y]ou can't have equality and segregation at the same time. The gay ghettos are evaporating as society changes and gay people are integrating. It's just a fact. It's happened to other groups, and there have always been some members of every group who felt great loss at the closing down of their exclusive places. It's the price we pay for being equal citizens."
Lawyers acting for the venue rejected these claims, saying if a gay bar wanted to open in a straight strip, complaints would not be tolerated.
Labour Councillor Nick Small was among those who objected to the decision and told the Liverpool Echo: “I believe this will damage and change the area… it will change the character of the Stanley Street quarter.”
A director of the club said: “We are so excited about this venue. We feel our business can fit side by side with the others and benefit and contribute to the local economy.”
The new venue will bring the number of “sexual entertainment venues” in Liverpool city centre up to its council-determined limit of eight.