BRISBANE'S LGBTI community has an unlikely new champion.
Coffee entrepreneur Phillip Di Bella has announced a lucrative new sponsorship deal with the Brisbane Pride Festival, the city's annual celebration of all things lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-sexual and intersexual.
The coffee king made no secret of the fact the move was a bid to repair damage caused by a series of highly-publicised, expletive-laden social media postings aimed at State-of-Origin commentators, many of which were deemed anti-gay.
The founder of the multi-million dollar Di Bella Coffee empire has personally donated $5000 to the September festival, almost equalling the $7000 contributed by Brisbane City Council.
Mr Di Bella, a key advisor to Premier Campbell Newman and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, said he made the donation as a gesture of inclusiveness and would continue to donate to the annual festival.
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