The Knysna town council has dismissed all concerns about the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras following a concerted campaign by the LGBT community to support the event.

In a statement, Councillor Richard Dawson said that “all issues relating to the ‘Pink Loerie Festival’ were dropped and previous decisions rescinded” at a council meeting on Friday.

The council had, at a previous meeting in June last year, decided to act on complaints about the gay festival – from a small group of townsfolk – by undertaking a survey to gauge the town’s opinion on the event.

Following claims that the survey was biased in its questions, Mayor Eleanore Bouw agreed to halt the poll, and committed the council to undertake a new survey through an independent company later in the year.

On Friday, however, the town’s councillors and the mayor unanimously agreed to not proceed with any survey and to drop all concerns about the festival.

According to Dawson, “Mayor Eleanore Bouw stated clearly that we, as the Knysna Council, cannot afford to be seen to act contrary to the Constitution.”

The Pink Loerie organisers said in response: “The LGBTI community, has once again – as in the Jon Qwelane-saga – shown that by standing together, showing solidarity and being pro-active and actually doing something if our constitutional rights are threatened, the seemingly impossible can be achieved.”

The 2009 Pink Loerie Mardi Gras takes place from 30 April to 3 May.

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