Will new rules and regulations kill Gran Canaria’s gay scene? Well, it remains to be seen.
Marco Aurelio Pérez Sanchez, the mayor of Maspalomas – the municipality where the Yumbo Centre, the hub of LGBTI life on the Spanish island – has responded to petitions over the new regulations put in place to ensure bars and venues comply with EU regulations.
Under the rules, bars on the ground floor must remove tables from the shopping area of the street unless they have a specific permit. Venues must also close according to the license, which for the majority is 2.30am, compared to staying open until a lot later. Many feared bizarre rules like the height of sunshades and transparent windbreakers could cause undue stress to LGBTI bar and venue owners.
And if police are cracking down on people congregating in outdoor spaces, this could be fatal to the scene. Gran Canaria has a warm climate and many venues depend on outside space for entertainment.
In a statement, Sanchez claimed the new rules will ‘enhance’ the area as a LGBTI destination. He said the ‘project’ is to ‘give a boost to control the quality and safety of all events’.
The mayor claimed the contradictory reports online was ‘undermining’ the good work of the organizers.
A petition, signed by many LGBTI venue and bar owners in Gran Canaria, has been signed by more than 5,000 people.
Source: Gay Star News