Tory councillor Aron Klein (left) said gay Hackney mayor Philip Glanville (right) should ‘stop crying’ after singling him out for his sexuality. (Hackney Conservatives/Hackney Labour)
The Conservative party is investigating a local councillor who insisted he isn’t homophobic in an email titled with the well-worn homophobic taunt: “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
Aron Klein first hit the news last week, when he said “No, thank you” to LGBT+ inclusive education and that Jewish faith schools should remain unregistered so children don’t get “ideas” about homosexuality or atheism.
The Tory councillor for Stamford Hill West, in north east London, also singled out gay Hackney mayor Philip Glanville for his sexuality.
The local Conservative branch confirmed it was “looking into the matter” but in an email sent to local media over the weekend, Klein took matters into his own hands.
“Just tell Philip Glanville to stop crying like a innocent cheep [sic] was attacked by a wolf,” Klein said.
“I am not homophobic, neither misogynist. I don’t care who people juggle around with.”
The subject line of the email was: “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” When it was pointed out to Klein that a woman was arrested last summer after targeting attendees of Waltham Forest Pride with the same phrase, Klein attempted to deny he’d written the subject line himself.
“This was a mistake past [sic] from a email I received,” Klein said.
Josh Bradlow, head of policy for LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall, said: “People in positions of political power have a responsibility to champion the individuals they represent, and this includes LGBT+ people.
“The latest comments from Cllr Klein show how much work is still left for us to do to combat discrimination and the use of offensive language against lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.”
Klein also claimed he had met with the chair of the local Conservatives and that he believed “the subject is now cleared”.
It is unclear if he is aware that he is currently under investigation by his own party.
Aron Klein: ‘For us it’s Adam and Eve.’
Klein made his original comments after it was revealed that the local council is struggling to get local schools to register with Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).
He said that Ofsted-registered schools would give children “ideas of atheist, gay, early childhood sex”.
“The Haredi community pride itself with a youth clean and pure from crime,” Klein said.
He continued: “The way they do it is a total ban of television at home. Films or video or cinema is totally forbidden as not to give the kids any idea of crime, mischief of any sort.
“Most boys and girls are getting married at around the age of 19 after years of learning in yeshiva to respect your partner.
“Why bring in Ofsted to our yeshivas? They give the children ideas of atheist, gay, early childhood sex. We don’t need all this thank you.
“We pride ourselves with a divorce rate of one out of ten.”
Klein had also hit out at Glanville, writing: “I believe he is gay. Good luck to him. No thank you. We don’t want Ofsted coming mixing, confusing our children.
“For us it’s Adam and Eve. A man and a woman. A boy and a girl.”