Residents in the town of Gloucestershire in the UK are up in arms over plans to convert a 170-year-old hotel into a gay sex club.

A company, Mystiques, had proposed to turn the New County Hotel in Southgate Street, one of the town’s main streets, into a restaurant by day and a members’ only club catering to gay people and those who practice “alternative sexual lifestyles”.

One of the city’s planning officials supported the plan, but following vocal opposition by some residents and church members, the planning commission voted six votes to five to reject the proposal.

Mystiques has now called for a public enquiry on the matter, claiming that the decision by the committee was taken on the basis of moral concerns and not because of planning issues.

“When asked to declare their interests, the planning committee should consider their religious beliefs and step down if they believe their faith will dictate the outcome,” said a spokesperson for the company.

“On a personal note, I tolerate other people’s beliefs and have learned to love my neighbour. It is a great pity these well-organised religious-based groups cannot practice what their religion preaches and do the same,” he added.

Unless the decision is reversed, the building will most likely be converted into a restaurant with 10 flats above it.

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