The deputy mayor of Volgograd has stepped down after parents at a local ballroom-dancing school accused him of insulting their children with homophobic remarks.
Deputy Mayor Anatoly Omelchenko confirmed to the website V1.ru on Monday that he is resigning, following a scandal at a local school.
On Nov. 10, Omelchenko visited a school in Volgograd, where he observed a ballroom-dancing lesson. Unhappy with the display, the deputy mayor reportedly called the students “gay things, twisting their behinds.” Omelchenko apparently made several more remarks, comparing the dancing to homosexual behavior, and even threatened to close down the school.
The school’s parents soon launched a petition on Change.org, demanding Omelchenko’s resignation. The petition attracted more than 4,400 signatures, before the deputy mayor finally agreed to step down from his post.
In his comments to V1.ru, Omelchenko said the campaign against him was actually the result of his refusal to grant the school an additional 600 square meters (6,450 square feet) of real estate. He also confirmed that he’s no fan of ballroom dancing, saying he doesn’t like it when “little boys go around with slicked-back hair and their butts sticking out.” Omelchenko added that “any dance should be based on gender chemistry [sic], and here the boys and the girls are separate.”
Omelchenko also told V1.ru that he never compared the school’s ballroom dancing to homosexuality, claiming that the petition’s author, the mother of one of the students, wasn’t even present during his visit to the dancing school.