Honduras' interior ministry announced Friday that youngsters under 15 will not be allowed into an Oct. 16 benefit concert by the openly gay singer Ricky Martin, citing the show's "erotic content."

The ban was imposed after Honduran President Porfirio Lobo took time out from an official visit to the United States to order that the concert go forward, despite objections by religious groups.

The government indicated that banning the event would be "a highly reprehensible act of intolerance."

A senior interior ministry official, Alberto Espinal, told journalists there was never any intention to prohibit Martin's performance in Honduras, nor has anyone questioned his private life.

But he said that an analysis of the show on the artist's world tour entitled ""Musica + Alma + Sexo" had shocked some sectors including a group representing evangelical Protestants, who expressed their opposition to it in a letter to Interior Minister Africo Madrid.

Espinal said the special restriction on the Martin concert is "to protect the mental health of Honduran youth," even in a country where there are regular performances by music groups that promote sex and violence and glorify drug kingpins without any restrictions imposed on them by the authorities.

Martin says the proceeds from the concert will go to a children's foundation.