A nude gay dance party to be held at Erskineville Town Hall this weekend has been deemed inappropriate by City of Sydney council and cancelled by Sydney Pride.

Pride, which occupies the town hall, last weekend called off the Gay Sydney Nudists (GSN) party after deciding it wasn’t appropriate to hold such an event in a publicly funded building.

When we took the booking earlier this year we thought we’d have a lease on the Erskineville Town Hall, Pride co-president Lou-Anne Lind said. But because circumstances changed, the town hall is still a publicly funded space, and I think an event like this would be better suited to a privately owned space.

City of Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard discussed the party at a council meeting on Monday night. I made a point that our public buildings need to have uses that are acceptable to the broader community, Mallard told Sydney Star Observer.

I’m not opposed to gay or straight nudist dance parties but they should be held at private venues. I don’t think a council town hall is an appropriate venue. Some people would think that’s not appropriate use of rate-payers’ money.

Pride will refund all money to GSN and has pledged to help the group find an appropriate venue to hold an event around Mardi Gras.

Our members are very disappointed, naturally, but we understand the difficult situation Pride is in, GSN president Richard Buckdale said. We’re very pleased Pride is going to help us hold a similar function next year.

Also this week Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore announced council would open a new neighbourhood service centre in Erskineville Town Hall. However Lind said this would have no effect on Pride in the immediate future.

Council will move into an area of the building rarely used by Pride, Lind said, adding, We’re actually quite pleased about it. It’s a positive thing.

I think this will heighten the presence of Pride. There will be people there every day, which will be really good.

Lind said she hoped Pride will next year be able to move into a building that can also accommodate other gay organisations, such as New Mardi Gras and Queer Screen, to reduce costs.

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