The Jewish community in the Spanish city of Madrid has denied the authenticity of an interview attributed to its Chief Rabbi during which he reportedly said gay people were “deviant” and needed “reeducating”.

Speaking on behalf of the Madrid Jewish community, Ziva Freidkes said on Wednesday that the interview, which appeared on Religion Digital, featuring Rabbi Moshe Bendahan, was “distorted”.

She said the rabbi never made the negative references to the gay community, and said that the interview with the Spanish language site was “inaccurate, and took things out of context.”

The interview quoted the rabbi as saying: “Homosexuality is a deviation from nature. It’s an anti-natural tendency and a sin. Contemplating allowing, consenting to what is known as ‘gay marriages,’ would be a monstrosity.”

A statement published on Tuesday, the Jewish community said:  “For a very long time now, we have been supporting the gay community’s fight against discrimination.”

Religion Digital, however, released its own statement reaffirming the authenticity of the quotes, and said that journalist Antonio Aradillas, who interviewed Bendahan, was described as having “undeniable prestige and decades of experience in covering religious affairs.”