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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Row over councillor's gay 'joke'
David Clutterbuck
David Clutterbuck said he had "strong Christian views"
A Conservative councillor who sparked a row when he joked that Noah would have to let gay animals on board if he built his ark today has refused to apologise.

David Clutterbuck's remarks were circulated by e-mail to council members at Bournemouth Borough Council.

The 71-year-old told the BBC there was no way he would say sorry because there was nothing wrong with his comments.

One Liberal Democrat councillor complained and said Mr Clutterbuck should now undergo diversity training.

I imagine now it would be illegal to only have animals of the opposite sex!
David Clutterbuck's e-mail

The row started when an e-mail was forwarded with a joke that if Noah tried to build an ark now he would have to overcome planning rules, building regulations, environmental impact studies, fire and safety regulations and the RSPCA over animal welfare.

Mr Clutterbuck wrote: "I imagine now it would be illegal to only have animals of the opposite sex!" and pressed "reply to all".

Lib Dem councillor Michael Carlile, 41, said: "The comment, even in fun, is at best childish and at worst shows that certain local Conservatives are locked into the distant past.

"I urge, if we are truly going to embrace diversity, all members should have compulsory diversity training.

"I would urge those enlightened Conservative councillors, and I know there are some, to challenge Councillor Clutterbuck on his attitudes to minority communities."

'Not a fanatic'

Defending his comments Mr Clutterbuck, who has been a councillor for 19 years, said: "One of the councillors who's made the complaint has only been on the council three years.

"I've said before, I've more experience of life, of business in my little fingertips than the people who are making complaints."

He added: "I'm not a practising Christian but I have really strong Christian views.

"I believe in the law of Moses. I'm not a religious fanatic. As long as they do it behind closed doors, I don't mind, but now they [homosexuals] control the media, the television.

"They have much stronger control over this country than they should have."

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