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Gay Couple Demand Name Change for ‘Homophobic’ Road

Homophobic-street-sign-577273 Gay Couple Demand Name Change for ‘Homophobic’ Road Gay Couple Demand Name Change for ‘Homophobic’ Road Homophobic street sign 577273

Parish Council chairman Mike Taylor beside the road name that has caused controversy in village

A street sign named after a well-known villager in Kent is at the centre of a row which could end in legal action. [5] Married couple Phillip and Ian Tucker have written to their local council to complain about the decision to name a new road Bangays Way, because they consider it homophobic.  [1] [2] [3] DEVON isn’t short of potentially rudely named places: Crapstone, Cockwood, Prixford or Cockington, to name just a few. [7] Despite the name of the new cul-de-sac having been arrived at because of the late Frank Bangay’s dedication to the village, having sat as a school governor, councillor, and a writer of local history, the couple feel they are being discriminated against. [1] Mr. Tucker says the addition of an ‘S’ makes the name unforgivable, and it should be renamed Frank Bangay Way.  [1] The Express reports Tucker’s remarks, as he recalled first seeing the street name: “My husband and I went to look round the new development, as you do. Having got over the initial humour, we reflected that this street name was actually pretty offensive.  [2] “Somehow seeing it on the sign made it look even worse. We are pretty sure the sign will be subject to frequent vandalism and possible theft.  He said he wrote to Borough Green Parish Council chairman Mike Taylor, saying he was horrified by the “homophobic” sign. But after having his claims dismissed by the council, he decided to protest to Mr Tugendhat the day he was elected. [5] Mr Tugendhat said: “His complaint is not without merit, so I am perfectly happy to support him.” [9]  “Apparently Frank Bangay was a local historian. Many local roads are named after local families. But only in one instance did an ‘s’ get tacked on the end… I have contacted our new MP Tom Tugendhat who seems to agree with me and is approaching the council to see if it can be changed to Frank Bangay Way, which at least makes it clear it is a name not a statement of opinion”.  [1] [3]  The MP, however, did say that he did not personally find the sign ‘homophobic or offensive’. [2] Although their Conservative member of parliament has agreed to help them make the change, others in the village are not so impressed. [2] Villager Sarah Casson, 35, said: “Whoever is complaining about the name of the road needs to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. [2] At that moment, the parish council were due to hold a meeting to address the situation. [3] Finally, the council has refused the MP’s complaint, saying it is a tribute to the Bangay family. [11] But it was not enough, the Bangay family are furious and have labelled the couple’s calls as “petty playground bullying” and “name calling”. [3]  However, Marian Smith, Frank Bangay’s daughter, says the complaint is insulting to her family name: “We are all very proud of our surname and both of my parents were very prominent in the village for many, many years and did so much for the village.” [8] [10] Smith also added: “Our surname has been researched back to the 16th Century by a relative. I too feel that if the couple who are so afraid of what people think that they make an issue could well find themselves in litigation. [8] The Bangay family is considering legal action, themselves finding the newcomer couple thinking their name offensive, offensive. [2]  Ian Bangay wrote in a blog post:

For some reason a villager has expressed the view that the name Bangays Way may be taken as homophobic.

While he may perceive things in this way, this seems perhaps overly sensitive and I would have faith in the people of Borough Green to see it as it is meant, simply a tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the area, without any other overtones.

I do not wish for the name of Bangay to be slurred, nor for what strikes me as petty playground bullying, literally name calling, to go unchecked.

Sadly I see Mr Tucker’s position as little better than the homophobia which he claims to decry. It is insensitive.

If he had understood – which he claims to – that this is a family name, he might have appreciated the upset and offence which he has triggered. [3]

– Ian Bangay

[3] Gay couple outraged over ‘homophobic’ road named Bangays Way, ITV, 14 May 2015 at 9:49am
[4] Gay couple offended by ‘homophobic’ road named Bangays Way, London Evening Standard, 14 May 2015
[5] Homosexual villagers outraged at ‘Bangays’ street name, The Telegraph, 11:02PM BST 13 May 2015
[6] Chris York, Bangays Way Road Complained About Furiously By Gay Couple And MP Tom Tugendhat, The Huffington Post UK, 14/05/2015 11:11 BST
[7] Gay couple want “homophobic” road sign banned, MidDevonGazette, May 15, 2015
[8] Nick Duffy, Gay couple outraged after local road named ‘Bangays Way’, Pink News, 14th May 2015, 3:49 PM


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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