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Coventry city councillor says he cannot be homophobic as he has a 'gay friend'

In an outburst, Glenn Williams also said two women kissing was 'pornography'

2020-01-17

Words: Steve Brown

A Coventry city councillor who suggested LGBTQ people are 'promiscuous' says he cannot be homophobic because he has a 'gay friend'.

Councillor Glenn Williams – who sits as an independent on the council and represents the Bablake ward – was criticised during a outburst where he said two women kissing was ‘pornography’.

He then said the city should teach ‘traditional family values’ and ‘not how to be promiscuous’.

Williams said: “There are a lot of very concerned parents who are worried about what is going to be taught to very young children. 

“Last week, a friend of mine who is very broad minded, telephoned me as her 13-year-old son had some home from school because his teacher had given them tips – I’m sorry I’m not very comfortable about this – about how to come out, and had shown a video of two women kissing. 

“Does Cllr Maton [the cabinet member for education] agree with me that this sort of video which bluntly I regard as pornography should not be shown in Coventry  schools and what we should have is a policy that promotes traditional family values – not how to be promiscuous – but how to respect traditional family values?”

Following his outburst, the councillor has defended his comments saying he cannot possibly be homophobic because he has a 'gay friend'.

While appearing on  BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire with lesbian presenter Vic Minett, Williams insisted he wasn't homophobic and claimed he was talking about material being shown to younger children.

He said: “In your own home you can turn off the television. I don’t have a television so I don’t have to watch these things. This is about a child at school being forced to watch something I didn’t want to watch, being forced to come out.”

Minett then questioned him: “Can you accept that you used language that was perceived to be homophobic?”

“I’m not homophobic. I’ve got a gay friend, I phone him regularly,” he continued. "I’m not trying to say gay people are bad. There are pressure groups infiltrating schools.

"There’s a lot of evidence across the country, even in neighbouring Warwickshire where they had to stop a sex education programme because it was too graphic.”