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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 12:01 GMT
Bid to stop gay group funds fails
Two men hand in hand
The group works to increase tolerance of the LGBT community
A councillor in south west Scotland has criticised the use of public funds to support a group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

John Charteris narrowly failed in a bid to block a 31,500 grant for the Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Youth group.

He said he preferred to see funding go to organisations which he described as being "inclusive".

LGBT Youth director Grace Cardozo said it worked with a wide range of groups in order to increase tolerance.

Mr Charteris tabled a motion to the education and community resources committee to block the funding.

I don't think we should be funding organisations which are exclusive - I like funding ones which are inclusive for everybody
John Charteris

He was supported by his fellow Conservative councillors, forcing the committee chairwoman Sandra McDowall to use her casting vote in order to approve the funds.

After the meeting, Mr Charteris said he believed the money could have been better spent.

"I think their objectives are exclusive to their own interests," he said.

"I don't think we should be funding organisations which are exclusive - I like funding ones which are inclusive for everybody."

However, Ms Cardozo said the group went to great lengths to be as open as possible.

Holding hands

She said it worked with other organisations to try and encourage them to be more tolerant.

"We would love to be in a situation where LGBT people could go into their GP, could walk into any job or could walk down the street holding their partner's hand and they wouldn't face any discrimination," she said.

"We are not quite there yet.

"Attitudes like some of those that we heard in council show that we have got quite a long way to go."

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