A special ball for LGBTQI youth has been postponed in Australia after the event was targeted by hate groups
- Rainbow Ball delayed in regional Victoria
- Comes after ‘confrontational commentary’
A ball for LGBTQI youth has been postponed in regional Victoria after the event was targeted by hate groups.
Wangaratta council in the north of the state decided to postpone the Rainbow Ball after receiving information from Victoria Police.
Mayor Dean Rees said the council supported the LGBTQI community but could not negotiate prioritizing their safety.
Wangaratta council in the north of the state decided to postpone the Rainbow Ball after receiving information from Victoria Police
The council announced the postponement on social media on Thursday and provided support services to those who could be experiencing “difficult feelings”.
“There has been some confrontational commentary circulating around the Rainbow Ball on social media, which is why we have chosen to prioritize the safety of all attendees and staff and postpone the event,” Mr Rees said in a statement.
“There has been some hate speech surrounding this event, we don’t accept this, but we can’t take the risk that an event that is all about fun and celebration puts everyone in attendance at risk.”
The municipality announced the postponement on social media on Thursday and offered support to people who may have had ‘difficult feelings’.
‘The Rainbow Ball has been delayed – but don’t lose hope!’ said the message.
“We stand with our LGBTQIA+ youth, allies, families and friends and we will strive to reschedule!
“You may have seen some confrontational commentary around this event, which is why we made this difficult decision. The safety of everyone involved is our top priority.’
Wangaratta Councilor David Fuller said he would not tolerate “divisive comments” and said the event was about young people feeling involved, not left out.
‘Rainbow Ball was born in Wodonga a few years ago and covers most of the local government areas from Mansfield to Cobram and in-between! It’s finally our turn, Wangaratta’s chance to host a fun welcome event,” he wrote on social media.
‘Offering support to young people who normally end up in isolation. How can it be silenced? How is it possible that a fringe plays with the safety of young people?’
Wangaratta councilor David Fuller said he would not tolerate “divisive commentary” and said the event was about young people feeling included, not left out (pictured, Mardi Gras 2023)
The prom is the latest of at least 10 queer events canceled in Victoria in recent months, including drag stories and sing-alongs, following threats from far-right groups.
The police had been asked to provide information to the municipality prior to the event.
The municipality is working with partner organizations and the residents of the area to support people affected by the situation.
“We have a diverse and vibrant community and all members of our community have the right to feel safe and be themselves here,” said Mr Rees.
Lifeline 13 11 14
Full stop Australia 1800 385 578
Q Life 1800 184 527
Rainbow door 1800 729 367