Village in uproar over 'Bangays Way' street sign after gay couple complain it is 'homophobic'

Couple have claimed the naming of the new street is 'pretty offensive'

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The Independent Online

A gay couple have objected after a new street in a small English village was named ‘Bangays Way’ after a deceased local resident.

Philip and Ian Tucker claim that the Borough Green village road’s name, in honour of local Kent historian Frank Bangay, is “pretty offensive” and have taken their claim to their local MP.

“We laughed at first, but upon reflection we realised this street name was actually pretty offensive,” Mr Philip Tucker told ITN.

The row centres on the decision to add an ‘s’ to the end of Mr Frank Bangay’s name attached to a new development in the small village.

Mr Tucker added that he and his partner feared the "homophobic" sign would be “subject to frequent vandalism and possible theft.”

Recently elected local Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat agrees with the couple’s protest, telling the Daily Telegraph: “His complaint is not without merit, so I am perfectly happy to support him.”

But Frank Bangay’s family have fought back, denying that the name is homophobic.

Writing on a blog, Ian Bangay, son of Frank, said: “For some reason a villager has expressed the view that the name Bangays Way may be taken as homophobic.”

Mr Bangay continued that the villager’s view “seems perhaps oversensitive” and went on to say that the complaint “strikes me as petty playground bullying, literally name calling”.

He also said the sign commemorating his father, who died in 1999, was merely a “tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the area, without any other overtones.”

The issue is due to go before a parish meeting this evening, when the council are anticipated to change the name to ‘Frank Bangay Way’.

Councillor Mike Taylor, chairman of Borough Green Parish Council, added that Frank Bangay was one of the “pillars of the community” and that the name was intended to remember “Frank Bangay and his family” and nothing else.