An interview given by the mayor Hertsmere to Jewish News, in which he urges the LGBT community to be “quieter”, has resurfaced after six years – sparking calls for his removal.
Rabbi and councillor Alan Plancey was accused of being “prejudiced” and a “homophobe”, the day before he was sworn into office for the second time.
Ahead of his inauguration, the local Labour group took issue with the comments he made in 2014 during a clip about LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) Jews for Jewish News, in which he said they “would get more acceptance and more love if you do it quietly and unobtrusively”.
They wrote an open letter citing a young local gay constituent who was in “distress”, saying the interview “explicitly enters the territory of homophobic statements.”
Asked about his comments on the BBC’s Three Counties Radio this week, Plancey said: “I wasn’t giving my views. I was asked to explain the Orthodox view to this LGBTQ. I had to quote the Torah”.
“Nobody can turn round and say to me I’m homophobic. I’m not.”
When asked whether he believes the views, he said: “I won’t answer that” insisting he deals “with everybody.”
Accused by the presenter of using words which are “archaic”, Plancey said religious views are “against the act not the individual”, when it comes to the LGBT community.
He also refused to commit to meet with LGBT activists “until I get an apology”.
Following his interview Oliver Kasin and Ella Rose, LGBT Labour London Co-Chairs, said there are “no excuses for homophobia”, adding that “as two LGBT+ Jews, we know the damage this does to those in our community who are not yet out.”
“We call on Mayor Plancey to retract his remarks, engage with the LGBT+ community in Hertsmere, and sincerely apologise for the hurt and pain he has caused so many.”
Defending Plancey, leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Cllr Morris Bright, said: “The Conservative group were very clear that he should not feel coerced in to stepping back.
Cllr Rabbi Plancey has been approached for comment.
Watch his 2014 comments here:
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