Tory mayor accused of homophobia after saying gays shouldn’t have sex if they want respect sues for defamation
A Tory mayor who suggested LGBT+ people could earn more respect if they didn’t have sex is suing two gay councillors who accused him of “homophobic language”.
A resurfaced Jewish News video showed rabbi Alan Plancey commenting that the LGBT+ community needs to be “quiet” and “unobtrusive” if they want to be accepted, and that queer people can only be respected if they don’t have gay sex.
Plancey faced calls to resign even before his appointment to mayor of Hertsmere was confirmed, with Labour councillors Christian Gray and Chris Myers strongly opposing the “prejudiced” candidate.
They urged him to step down in an open letter that cited a constituent who contacted them “in distress” having seen Plancey’s interview, which “explicitly enters the territory of homophobic statements”.
The Orthodox rabbi refused to retract his remarks and has hit back with a defamation lawsuit against the two councillors.
“I wasn’t giving my views. I was asked to explain the Orthodox view on LGBTQ,” he told listeners when confronted on BBC’s Three Counties Radio. “Nobody can turn round and say to me I’m homophobic. I’m not.”
Claiming that he “never, ever pre-judges anyone”, he raised objections to Pride parades, Pride flags and Pride month, suggesting that such things are celebrated because certain people feel “they are more important than anybody else”.
He went on to insist that his anti-LGBT+ views were “against the act not the individual”.
Hertsmere Labour has launched a crowdfunding page to support the councillors’ legal expenses.
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“Following mayor Plancey’s decision to take legal action for defamation against our two gay Labour councillors, we felt that funds were needed to contest the action,” a spokesperson told Jewish News.
“We are so very grateful to the people who have supported our councillors and are thrilled that £2,000 in the first 24 hours. Homophobic language must not go unchallenged.”
There are “no excuses for homophobia” added LGBT Labour London, as its co-chairs called on the Tory mayor to “retract his remarks” and “sincerely apologise”.
But Plancey feels it is he who has been wronged, and as Hertsmere mayor he has refused to meet with local LGBT+ leaders until he receives an apology and the councillors’ letter has been retracted from the press.
Defending Plancey, the leader of Hertsmere borough council said: “The Conservative group were very clear that he should not feel coerced into stepping back.”
PinkNews has reached out to Plancey for comment.