A Coventry councillor has been criticised for comments he made about the education of same-sex relationships in schools.
Cllr Glenn Williams, an Independent councillor for Bablake, told a full council meeting that Coventry schools should teach “traditional family values” and “not how to be promiscuous”.
He also described a video of two women kissing as “pornography”, and said he was “not very comfortable” when talking about children being taught how to come out as LGBT. Cllr Glenn Williams (Image: Coventry City Council) At the meeting on January 14, he 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?”
Cabinet member for education Cllr Kevin Maton, said: “It is about giving help and advice to young people so they do not live their life in ignorance.”
During a webcast of the meeting fellow councillors could be seen with their head in their hands and looking on with disbelief as Cllr Williams made the comments.
His question led led to heavy criticism across the chamber.
Cllr Christine Thomas described the comments as “wholly inappropriate”, while Cllr Gary Ridley said: “There’s nothing to be ashamed about your sexuality and absolutely no reason children should not be taught that at all."
Another, Cllr Becky Gittins, added: “Can my fellow members support me in ensuring that the message that comes from this meeting is unlike Cllr Williams we do not equate homosexuality with sexual promiscuity but rather homosexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation as part of one’s gender identity and sexual orientation?”
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Williams said his comments were made in relation to ‘age-appropriate’ education.
He said: “I was trying to explain the concerns that parents have about what young people are taught.
“Personally sexuality is not my business.
“But parents are concerned if their young children are not told to be kids. They need to learn what they need to learn to get a good education.”
CoventryLive has launched a WhatsApp service dedicated to keeping you up to date with the latest news from Coventry and Warwickshire.
Click here to join and follow the instructions on your phone. Your number won’t be shared with anyone else in the group. If you want more information on signing up, or if this link doesn’t work, click here. Download the CoventryLive app
Visit our Facebook page for Coventry or visit our Twitter page here
Do you have an opinion on this story? Join the debate on our CoventryLive News & What’s On Facebook group.