Tory councillor accused of homophobia to meet gay rights group

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Tory councillor in Bristol who was accused of homophobia for criticising gay actor Ian McKellen’s visits to schools is to meet gay rights group Stonewall.

Chris Windows, the representative for Henbury, told a council meeting on Tuesday that he was “disturbed” to hear that Stonewall and the actor had been speaking to local children about being gay.

“I am unhappy and a little disturbed at the involvement of Stonewall in our local schools and particularly the use of a certain leading actor as a potential role model for our impressionable young people,” he said.

Mr Windows denied he was homophobic and said he was concerned that “confused” pupils could be identified and bullied.

His party has now suggested that he meet Stonewall to learn more about the charity’s work.

Tory group leader Geoff Gollop told the Bristol Evening News: “After the debate at full council, I suggested to Councillor Windows that he might consider meeting with Stonewall in order to gain a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve through these school visits.

“Furthermore, Chris has since expressed a willingness for this to take place.

“In such circumstances, this seems to me to be a sensible way forward in resolving any differences which have arisen in this matter.”

Stonewall reportedly said it would be happy to meet with Mr Windows.