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Tory councillor guilty of homophobic slur

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  1. The controversy over local Conservative councillor Peter Willows’s association of homosexuality with paedophilia does lead many people to wonder whether attitudes in the Tory Party have really changed.The most popular Tory website,, described by Conservative chairman Francis Maude as “the only place to find out what’s going on”, is run by a man who says that “the Bible teaches that homosexuality is always wrong”. Meanwhile a senior Scottish Tory expresses “moral qualms” about same-sex adoption.It seems you only have to scratch the surface of Cameron’s “compassionate” Conservatives to find the same old deep-seated prejudice in a Party which at best is tolerating non-heterosexuals as a means to an electoral end.How many of the Labour government’s successes in delivering the Stonewall agenda of rights and freedoms – Section 28 abolition, civil partnerships, equality in age of consent, ending discrimination in goods and services provision amongst others – will be at risk if the Tories return to power locally and nationally?

  2. markus seibert 20 May 2006, 1:33pm

    I dont care if he has publicly appologized. Councillor Peter Willows has to go!

  3. Maybe if the gay voters of Brighton weren’t so bloody apothetic there wouldn’t be a massively Tory dominated council.

  4. Jenny in Plymouth 31 May 2006, 8:26pm

    I don’t think any equality legislation would be at risk if the Conservatives get back in power. It’s just to risky a proposition for David Cameron to have to face the legal hassles and the expense, not to mention the embarrassment. Besides, I believe Cameron IS a genuine believer in gay rights.At work recently, another woman, talking about a recent case of baby rapists, told us all what she thought; “I’d put them all on an island together and leave them to rot. All the paedohpiles, lesbians and homosexuals.” What’s more she said it right in front of me. She’s no Troy, she isn’t even middle class and until that little outburst, I considered her a friend, and I am a very out lesbian at work. She apologised to me naturally, but I will never ever forget that. As I am sure the gay residents of Brighton won’t, and let’s face it, there are far more of them than there are of Peter Willows.Personally, I think Willows is a wanker. Period. But I also don’t think semi-naked gay people in public are going to alter homophobic views, quite the opposite, they merely reinforce stereotypes and strongly held prejudices; i.e. they do more harm than good. It is about time that we stopped acting like sex-starved strippers at Pride events, and started acting like the decent human beings we really are.

  5. Tei, Brighton 26 Jul 2006, 1:26pm

    The Tory’s will never change. They’re a bigoted bunch of idiots. And as for your ‘friend’ (2nd paragraph above), she clearly believes it other wise she would not have said it – I think it’s time to re-assess who are your true friends at work.

  6. Cllr. Gavin Ayling 31 Oct 2006, 8:43pm

    Tory attitudes are definitely different among the young but it is too much to ask that the older members of society change their lifelong held beliefs.Worse, I am seriously concerned that no-one here thinks that saying what you think, whether right or wrong, shouldn’t be a criminal offence.Cllr. Willows is not right (obviously) but he should be allowed to be wrong publicly without having to go to court. Otherwise we’re not free.

  7. Councillor Warren Morgan 12 Dec 2006, 5:55pm

    I would take issue with Councillor Ayling, free speech is one thing but those of us in public office are supposed to set an example by not promoting homophobia and an atmosphere where violence against LGBT people might be encouraged. As elected representatives we have a duty to promote equality and a safe society where everyone is free, not made to feel like criminals because of their sexuality.And Rob F, Brighton Hove City Council isn’t “massively Tory dominated”, there are 23 Labour councillors (including me) and 20 Tories, plus 11 others, so no-one has a majority. Elections are in May.

  8. Cllr. Willows is not right (obviously) but he should be allowed to be wrong publicly without having to go to court. Otherwise we’re not free.Free to do what?Put gay people in danger. After reading this and IDS recent comments , there goes my tory vote.

  9. p.s. quote I don’t think any equality legislation would be at risk if the Conservatives get back in power.With due respect have you never heard of clause 28?

  10. Peter Willows’ comments are well out of order. By saying what he said, he is only promoting fear and prejudice within our society against the gay community. It was good that he apologies, but why say it in the first place if you need to apologise afterwards. The sentence should be a lesson to anyone who thinks that they can get away with insulting a minority group. As for free speech, I’m all up for that but not when it promotes violence, hatred and is unfounded.

  11. Blair Thornton 13 Dec 2006, 1:13pm

    Jay Nemes, interviewed for this article, is worng when he says Willows apologised. He did not. He only insisted he was misheard, and then had to withdraw that claim following recorded evidence. A simple test on free speech. had Cllr. willows said “blacks” and not “gays”, would anyone, except the BNP perhaps, be defiending his free speech? Volunteers? Mr Nemes?

  12. Utterly disgraceful that someone should be vilified and punished for a mere comment, however distasteful. The next step is to prosecute gay people for casual anti-christian (for example) ribaldry. – J

  13. i have added two comments to this, but after I read about Jay Nemes and Johnny Core the two gay guys giving £40 towards this Cllrs costs.I had to post again. I live in a house that has had gay graffitti, and regularly has things thrown at it. We are now soon to have toughened glass put in the windows, and have a protective film added to others. We have found out that from one source we have adledgely been labelled peodophiles as well as a load of other things. We are in fact a couple of middle age gay men with a passion for gardening and have nothing to do with what they have said about us. The two gay men that have said that freedom of speech is being compromised is not. Freedom of haterd is, and so it should be. Some people sit in high places in safe houses and have no idea what the consequences comments like this have on the gay community at large. When we first heard what was being said about us we were very scared and at one point feared for our lives.It is an emotive word that people do and have reacted on, sometimes with terrible circumstances.

  14. I am so pleased that Peter Willows has resigned. In a City with a strong LGB and T community the comments he made are extremely dangerous.They are offensive to this community and to many others in the City including myself- a heterosexaul.His age is absolutely no excuse , there are many gay people who are this age and over who have had to put up with this discrimination for the whole of their lives.

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