“MISGUIDED by a powerful ideology” is how the LGBTQ+ community has been described by a Wiltshire councillor, who refused to support a call to help fund next year’s Pride event.

Councillor Mary Douglas, who represents Salisbury St Francis and Stratford on Wiltshire Council, rejected the motion to award £1,000 to community group Salisbury Pride UK, which needs £18,000 to put on the June 13 event.

In her response to the application, put forward by Salisbury deputy mayor and Pride organiser Caroline Corbin at Salisbury Area Board on Monday night, Cllr Douglas said: “I cannot support this.

“I am not saying I do not accept or respect or love people who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) because I do. I support completely their right to make choices, however I do not support those choices themselves, nor the ideology and world view they represent.

“These are wonderful people, well meaning and sincere, but misguided by a powerful ideology.

“I do not want to be a part of promoting this, and I want to be clear this is not just my view, I represent a large number of people, some who are afraid to say something.”

In the past Cllr Douglas has openly expressed her views regarding the LGBTQ+ community, suggesting on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in 2017, that transgender people are mentally ill.

After the meeting Cllr Corbin said she was “shocked” by the views of Cllr Douglas, and described her as “an embarrassment to the public office who is just not fit for that role anymore”.

Cllr Corbin added: “Her views are completely homophobic and are very backwards, of course we have our own views but we should not use the council as a platform to express these beliefs, in my opinion.

“This is the second time she has done something like this, and she should have more understanding of the times we live in. Some of the points she raised were just awful.

“There is quite a large LGBTQ+ community here but they do not feel safe and have no space for themselves. Salisbury is sometimes described as a dying city and Salisbury Pride is just meant to be a positive push forward for us and the marginalised communities.”

In her pitch at the area board, Cllr Corbin explained that £18,000 needs to be raised for Salisbury Pride UK to go ahead, and the grant from the council alongside monthly fundraising would help reach the total.

She said: “This is about loving yourself, it’s about loving your neighbour, it’s about being inclusive and accepting. I can guarantee in this room everyone will know at least one person from that community.”

The board agreed to grant £1,000 to the event.

This came despite Cllr Douglas’s second reason for not agreeing with the cash boost , which was her belief that different groups should not be promoted through events like Pride.

She added: “I do not think it is the role of local government to fund a march or event to raise the profile and promote the world view of any one part of our community, and I would say that even if it was part of the community with which I profoundly agree with.

“We live in a diverse society and we need to follow it with different viewpoints and lifestyle but we do not need to affirm them. The very word ‘tolerate’ indicates we disagree or potentially disapprove of that which we are asked to tolerate.”

In response Councillor Brian Dalton said: “I used to love the Victorian era when I was at school but I’ve moved on since then.”

Cllr John Walsh added: “[These events] help the city. People come to attend and take part. This would generally make Salisbury more inclusive and make everyone feel comfortable to be involved.

“I totally disassociate myself from the views put forward by Cllr Douglas, and I’m disappointed [with her response].”