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Comment: In defence of Jan Moir

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  1. David North 26 Oct 2009, 12:42pm

    A reasoned argument, however you lost it for me when you stated:

    “We must have faith in the critical abilities of people to reason and think for themselves”.

    Unfortunately most religions do not allow for that, and perpetuate themselves by preventing people from reasoning and thinking for themselves.

  2. John Stuart Mill was the philosopher who explored the limits of free speech in his tretise “On Liberty”
    To quote Wikipedia
    “John Stuart Mill’s view on liberty, which was influenced by Joseph Priestley and Josiah Warren, is that the individual ought be free to do as he wishes unless he harms others. Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their good being and choose any religion they want to. Government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill explains,

    “The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right…The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

    Therefore, the question remains, was Jan Moir’s opinion piece designed to inspire homophobes to erode our civil rights further or just a frivolus bigoted opinion piece?
    Eroding our civil rights is where the real damage is done, though it’s something of a moot point whether Jan Moir’s article made a difference there.

  3. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 12:50pm

    I don’t understand the purpose of this article.

    Jan Moir’s freedom of speech has not been attacked. She wrote a hateful, poisonous article and as a result 22,000 people exercised THEIR freedom of speech by contacting the PCC.

    If she had written about a black couple in the way she wrote about Gately then the article simply would not have been published.

    There is a blatant double standard in reporting on minorities. Like it or not open homophobia in the press is accepted, tolerated and is a matter concerning ‘freedom of speech’. No-one uses ‘freedom of speech’ arguements when it comes to blatantly racist jounralism.

    Racism (like homophobia) is a fact of life for some people.

    If racism is absolutely unacceptable in print then homophobia should also be.

  4. If racism is absolutely unacceptable in print then homophobia should also be.

    Exactly my thought. No, she shouldn’t be free to say anything she likes. And actually, far more than feelings have been hurt. She has thrown a boom over the efforts to show the general public that being gay is ‘normal’ and a part of everyday life. She has fed the bigots with ammunition. She might even have contributed to the number of gay bashing incidents over the past week, even if only indirectly. Her insinuations, without any foundation, about the nature of gay relationships were inappropriate at any time, but especially this time.

  5. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 1:05pm

    And lest anyone is in doubt – if someone wrote an article like Moir’s, but wrote it about black people then it simply wouldn’t have been printed (even by the Daily Heil). Even though many people in Britain may hold racist beliefs this would not justify a similarly racist article (which in the case of Moir’s homophobic article, the apparent homophobia of a segment of the population seems to be used as an excuse for printing homophobic rubbish.

    There’s yet ANOTHER gay man fighting for his life today, after a homophobic attack in Liverpool.

    How many homophobic murders have occurred this year to date in Britain. There seems to be a new one every 2 weeks. In a country where gay men seem to be getting murdered simply for being gay, I think it is important to have a zero tolerance to homophobia – and that includes the likes of Jan Moir.

  6. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 1:12pm

    Articles like Jan Moir’s in the Daily Heil and the ‘oh this is a freedom of speech/freedom of press issue’ response to it leads to a situation where homophobia is seen as a somehow lesser evil than racism.

    Notice the hysterical debate going on about Nick Griffin and the BNP at the moment. Jan Moir’s article about Stephen Gately was as hateful as a BNP speech.

    Bizarrely however we are being asked to ignore it because of freedom of press issues. Bull. Until we live in a society where homophobia is seen as disgusting as racism then we simply cannot be complacent.

  7. vulpus_rex 26 Oct 2009, 1:13pm

    As far as I can work out Jan Moir wrote an article that suggested the following:

    1) SG died suspisciously young and therefore is there more to it than meets the eye?
    2) A third person was on the scene and was he there as a bit of extra-marital fun for one or both of SG and his partner?
    3)If 1 & 2 are true isn’t that a bit seedy?
    4)Same sex civil partnerships are different to and not as secure as heterosexual marriage.

    Call me a cynic but I assumed 1 & 2 straight away, and being honest who didn’t?

    3) is a matter of opinion, but doesn’t make you a homophobe

    4) is also true in my opinion.

    The comparison to racism being unacceptable in journalism is specious.

    Naked racism is unacceptable but unfortunately because of the climate of fear and smear that has poisoned public discussion so is discussion of any unpalatable fact that might call upon ethnicity, therefore there is just no discussion.

  8. .

    Tippetts:

    You argue your case well but utterly fail in one important point.

    You state that the quality of reason is a formidable weapon in the search for the truth.

    As I recall, the whole of the homosexual movement was initially based on two important fabrications.

    1) The gay gene lie

    2) The ten percent myth

    An element of hypocrisy here surely?

    .

  9. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 1:55pm

    Vulpus: you say: “4)Same sex civil partnerships are different to and not as secure as heterosexual marriage”

    It’s fine that either you or Jan Moir hold that opinion.

    BUt she used his death as a way of proving in her head what a bad idea CP’s are. And THEN she brought in the tragic suicide of the DIVORCED Kavin McGee to further emphasise her bigot.

    Freedom of the press is vital assuming there is a public interest element to the story.

    How Stephen Gately died had nothing to do with his sexual orientation or his marital status. Plus there was no public interest element to his story – he was a private individual.

    Plus she wrote the article the day before his funeral. That was truly intrusive and monstrous.

    I know that you are a Tory which may explain your lack of compassion for someone who is suffering.

    Jan Moir is a hateful old witch who deserves every condemnation she has gotten.

  10. Three storys up form this a gay person in Liverpool is fighting for his life, in London a gay man was recently beaten to death, The people that did dreadful acts, where they just using their freedom of speech. Words will eventually lead to actions, they always have and the always will.

  11. By what means other than debate, Simon, do you expect to extinguish homophobia and prejudice? By what right do you decide what we should hear or not hear?

  12. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 1:58pm

    The Daily Heil is trying to organise yet another witchhunt against the BBC at the moment over their decision to interview Nick Griffin on Newsnight.

    The double standards of the Daily Heil are truly despicable.

  13. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 2:07pm

    “By what means other than debate, Simon, do you expect to extinguish homophobia and prejudice? By what right do you decide what we should hear or not hear? ”

    Adrian. The Daily Heil is not a reasonable newspaper. They have a homophobic agenda. They are not interested in ‘debate’ as you so naively state it.

    They have a distribution figure of 2,000,000 people and considering their specifically homophobic agenda and their limitless resources, we are not talking about a fair, debate.

    For that reason I simply want people to exercise their freedom of speech to contact the Daily Heil’s advertisers to advise them that they will boycott their products while they advertise in a homophobic newspaper.

    If a newspaper with a homophobic agenda realises that homophobia will lead to a loss of advertising revenue then that is the best method od dealing with their bigotry.

    I want homophobia to be treated in the same way racism is. If racism is absolutely not-tolerated then it’s sort of pathetic to see gay people arguing tyhe ‘freedom of speech’ case for the bigots of the Daily Heil.

  14. Bishop Ioan 26 Oct 2009, 2:08pm

    Ahhhhh, our old friend, Voodoo. The consensus is not yet in on the “gay gene”–there are some indications that it exists, so while it is not established scientific fact, it is scarcely a lie.

    Secondly it is not possible to accurately determine the percentage of gay people in the populations–there will be individuals who are not, for whatever reasons, going to identify as gay.

    However, just for the sake of arguemnt, let’s say you’re right, Voodoo. Is that any reason to oppress and persecute people?
    What percentage of the population would you accept that they deserve to be left to live in peace?

    I submit that LGBTQ people have the right to freedom, acceptable treatment, and civil right, REGARDLESS of what causes it or how many of us there are.

  15. Voodoo – by the same token the homophobia movement was based on a fundamental lie.
    1. that the great majority of us have any choice in the matter.
    The sole choice I remember being given was going through the motions and living my life in a self-loathing sham of going-through-the-motions faux-straightness or externally imposed celebacy or being true to myself.
    If I could have woken up as a teen and decided to be straight I would’ve done it because it would’ve been the path of least resistance and I wouldn’t have spent the next 10 years struggling to justify that position to myself, my family, my friends and everyone else. I could’ve also skipped 8 or so years of painful denial watching all my classmates copping off with whoever they wanted.
    I know various people, Peter Tachell included consider gayness a lifestyle choice, but speaking for me and just about every gay person I know being gay is only a choice in the same respect that Michael Jackson’s skin tone was a choice.
    If straight people don’t believe that then they should try living their entire lives as gay and come back and report their findings.

  16. WRONG Mr Tippetts – you are so wrong.

    As others have put it, if a comparable elvel of vile racism is absolutely unacceptable in print then homophobia should also be.

    Free speech is a negotiation between competing parts of civic society. My part in that negotiation is to shout like hell and stand outside the Daily Mail offices on a wet Saturday.

    Your part? Offer an opening to Daily Mail et al to continue along the path of homophobia.

    Jan Moir’s part? It is obvious that the level of outrage, PCC complaints etc was enought to force the editors to ask her to write an ‘apology’, however limtied. I note that her column of 23rd Oct did not use the same level of posionous homophobia and vile invective that her now infamous column of 16th did and yet managed to still ask essentially the same questions. Her freedom as journalist is NOT curtailed. Her freedom to incite hatred is.

    Result.

    Why don’t you leave writing about gay rights to someone who actually believes in it?

  17. in reply to vulpus_rex, the issue is not that there was something extraordinary about a 33 year old dropping dead, which obviously is true. The issue is that Moir chose deliberately to make innuendo when the medical authorities had already pronounced on the cause of death, and in legal terms he did indeed die of “natural” causes (inasmuch as neither he nor anyone else delibertaely made it happen). She made a big deal of the fact that toxicology results were not yet known = yet more insinuation that this is somehow unusual, which it isn’t.

    Frankly, the whole article was a series of jumping to incorrect conclusions and making all sorts of connections where there are none. Writing for a very-widely read publication, it is incumbent on her and the editors not to make rash statements that are going to undo the hard work to bring about community acceptance of all people.

  18. vulpus_rex 26 Oct 2009, 2:18pm

    Simon you should seek help for your bipolar issues – you vascillate wildly between the reasonable and completely off this planet whackiness.

    Suggesting that SG was no more than a private individual and that how he died is of no public interest absolutely shatters the thin link to credibility of your other points.

    I know you are going to vote green but I’m not yet ready to dismiss you as a tree-hugging, bearded, sandal wearing fossil.
    Resorting to cheap political stereotyping does you no favours.

  19. Voodoo: you read too much from religious fundmentalist websites. The bang on endlessly about how the ‘gay gene’ has been disproved. The correct summation of scientifc enquiry is that there is no SINGLE gay gene and that multiple genes and pre-natal environment are important. i.e. same as heterosexuality.

    They and you are the deluded liars who push the deliberately misleading (i.e. a lie in the broader sense) ‘no gay gene’ mantra.

  20. If I am winding little Hitlers like PaulMc into a foaming, babbling rage because they cannot even make a coherent response to Mrs Moir, I’m clearly doing my job extremely well.

    Why don’t I stop? I’ve hardly even got my trousers off, Paul. Much more fun to come if you stick around.
    A xx

  21. It is interesting how so-called liberals only seem interested in the right to freedom of speech when this involves actively supporting fascists and bigots. Nick Griffin is the most recent example: he is very happy to play the victim and for the BNP to embrace the 3,000 new supporters who joined after seeing him on Question Time. As for Jan Moir, she has had her freedom of speech – she wrote her article and has pathetically attempted to justify it twice without apologizing. 22,000 members of the public have also exercised their freedom to complain about this nasty homophobic piece that would not have been out of place in the 1980s press hysteria surrounding AIDS.

    Adrian Tippetts seems keen to buy into the myth that somehow Jan Moir is a victim but she cannot have it both ways – pandering to homophobic prejudice, which undoubtedly encourages people who already hold homophobic views to act upon them, yet also wanting nobody to be offended by her bigotry (using the usual ‘I like gays, honest’ and ‘I’m not a homophobe because I say I am not’ defense). Jan is in denial: expressing homophobia encourages homophobic violence and so she will have her fair share of responsibility for any increase in homophobic attacks over the coming weeks and months. Jan Moir should immediately apologize and the Daily Mail should sack the editor that allowed her to publish this hateful drivel.

    As for Adrian’s article it is really confused. I am offended that he calls complaints to the Press Complaints Commission “stupidity” – this strikes me as internalized homophobia i.e. don’t be horrible to the homophobic person, she can say what she likes and we should not complain. Nonsense, if the next generation of LGBT people is to respect older members of the community we have to be prepared to fight homophobia. I am also surprised because Adrian has written about tackling the widespread homophobic culture in football. I am sure he would not also argue for the right of homophobic supporters to say whatever they like in football grounds up and down the country as if it has little or no impact on the lives of lesbian and gay players and fans.

    Adrian, you can defend her right to attack the LGBT community if you please (and her other unpleasant views for that matter, such as the government should consider forced birth control, sterilisation or imprisonment of ‘unfit mothers’, apologising for racist comedians or blaming women for sexism in the workplace). It is far more important to fight institutionalised homophobia and battle for justice for those people who experience violent hate crimes, such as Ekram Haque who was recently murdered in a racist attack in Tooting and Ian Baynham who was kicked to death in Trafalgar Square just a few weeks ago. Jan Moir’s freedom of speech has not been violated: she is a privileged middle-class opinion former who continues to write for the Daily Mail. However, Jan’s homophobia has potentially compromised the human rights and safety of many thousands of LGBT people who do not have an equal right of reply and whose main outlet is the Press Complaints Commission chaired by the editor of the Daily Mail! Go figure.

  22. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 2:47pm

    Vulpus:”Suggesting that SG was no more than a private individual and that how he died is of no public interest absolutely shatters the thin link to credibility of your other points.”

    What ARE you talking about. He was a semi-retired, former pop-star on a private holiday.

    The fact that you think that the Daily Heil has some sort of right to go snooping into his private life, and to thrash his character on the day before his funeral, using some spurious ‘public interest’ arguement is quite contemptible.

  23. vulpus_rex 26 Oct 2009, 2:59pm

    What ARE you talking about. He was a semi-retired, former pop-star on a private holiday.

    I repeat:

    “Suggesting that SG was no more than a private individual and that how he died is of no public interest absolutely shatters the thin link to credibility of your other points.”

  24. Kris Jones 26 Oct 2009, 3:02pm

    This is a very muddled and incoherent article. Nobody has sought to “silence” Jan Moir. She and the editors of the Daily Mail exercised their right to free speech in publishing the article about Gately’s death. Further, they exercised the same right when publishing her second article where she apologised to the family of Gately, while at the same time seeking to justify the previous one. Nobody has suggested a ban on Jan Moir or the Daily Mail.

    Those who took affront at Moir’s article were similarly exercising their right to free speech. Hitherto those offended by the national press had no real outlet for expressing their opinion. They might write to the editor of the offending publication, but would be entirely in the hands of that paper’s letters editor to give them a voice. The difference now is people can resort to the Internet and use social networks and comment pages to make their opinions known. The fact that many did so in this case is a boon to free speech, not a hindrance. How refreshing that journalists can now hear loud and clear from their readers.

    Complaining to the Press Complaints Commission doesn’t amount to an attempt to silence. People have done so because they believe the offending article breaches the terms of the PCC Code. This is a Code that is written and policed by the press itself without interference from government. There is no statutory code precisely because government has recognised the value of a free press.

    How silly to suggest in this context that, “When we bully people with opinions we don’t like into silence, or threaten them with court action, we are in effect acting as judge and jury over what may be said or thought.” The Mail and Moir certainly weren’t bullied into silence as the follow-up article shows. Nobody threatened court action, but resorting to the courts is certainly not “acting as judge and jury”. How could it be?

    With freedom comes responsibility. There’s an old cliche which says just because one can shout fire in a crowded theatre doesn’t mean one should. In this case Moir reaped what she sowed.

  25. “all I want from her is a coherent reason why the death of one individual calls into question every same sex relationship from Land’s End to Lerwick. I will not rest until I get one.” What fine words. But aprt from attacking those who have been outraged by this homophobia piec of hate, what are you actually going to do then? Come on, what are you going to do?

  26. Andy Armitage 26 Oct 2009, 3:24pm

    This is a well-balanced article, and I agree. I don’t like what Moir said, and I think she was insensitive and crass, but we can’t object to her right to say it. I don’t think there are grounds for an official complaint or investigation, much as it pains me to say that. It’s just unfortunate, and I can understand how people close to Gately, and his fans, might become very upset. However, one thing the numerous complaints have produced is more debate such as this one, which of course is all part of the phenomenon we are lucky to have in this country: free speech (to a large extent, anyway). Let’s hang onto it while we can, because you can bet your bottom the likes of the Tories and NuLabour will want to deprive us of it when it suits them.

  27. Fine Kris, you can exercise your right to holler and scream. Fine by me. Give me one statement in that piece by jan moir that calls for harm against anyone.

    All you have done is told Moir to be shut up and be quiet. You haven’t challenged or attempted to change anyone’s opinion one iota.

    Actually, it’s even backfired: to some, it’s now an ‘orchestrated campaign’.

    Coerced apologies, like Galileo’s forced recantations, for saying what you think are meaningless. Her thoughts are still there, as real as the Earth revolving around the Sun.

    You tell me a better way to extinguish prejudice than through reason and argument, and I will happily change my opinion.

    Do it quickly because I am adapting this very piece for a national newspaper, right now in fact.

  28. The closing sentiments of the article are the crux of the issue. Jan Moir’s article was an abuse of the freedom of the press – like many rights, people seem all too quick to forget that with these rights come responsibilities.

    I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are two different concepts. People can have the right to say what they like, regardless of whether we support it or not, and so long as people are able exercise their freedom of speech right to denounce or support it, I see no problem.

    It is a different matter when it comes to the press, who have a responsibility to inform the public. In order to do this, they have to ensure that what they say is factual, accurate and as Mr Tippetts correctly suggests, have the evidence to back up their opinion. Jan Moir’s article did not meet any of this criteria and it is sadly not the only example of the falling standards of journalism in this country.

    I believe her article was homophobic but I do not think that that should be the main reason for people being angry (although it is certainly a reason). Rather, it is the fact that journalists seem to think they can get away with writing whatever they like, regardless of evidence to the contrary, that deliberately misinforms the public.

    And I would not dismiss claims that articles such as this do not contribute towards discrimination. I believe that it is the inaccurate reporting and unsubstantiated assumptions made in tabloid journalism that affects public opinion on issues such as gay rights and immigration. It is probably a safe bet that most people that vote BNP will also be regular readers of The Sun and The Daily Mail.

  29. Vic Codling 26 Oct 2009, 4:11pm

    Very difficult to understand why pinknews prints this peice of rubbish by Andrew Tippetts…. Yes I know he also has freedom of speech. However if I want to consider articles supporting homophobic views, I usually go to the Daily Mail! NOT GOOD!

  30. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 4:40pm

    Vulpus: “Suggesting that SG was no more than a private individual and that how he died is of no public interest absolutely shatters the thin link to credibility of your other points”

    Well Toryboy – please explain to me why you think the activities of a private citizen on a personal holiday has ANYTHING to do with me or you. I know you are a Tory and therefore probably support snooping into someone’s personal life.

    I don’t agree. Stephen Gately was not a politician or a spokesman for anyone or anything (despite the attempts Jan Moir; the Daily Heil and yourself to make him some sort of ‘spokesman’ for the gay population.)

    Her article was disgustingly intrusive and inappropriate (even if he was not being cremated the next day). Her attempts to use his death (and the tragic suicide of Kevin McGee) to thrash gay civil rights was utterly abhorrent and she absolutely deserves every condemnation.

    I would like to see how many people who are defending Jan Moir’s ‘free speech’ would also be willing to do the same for Nick Griffin.

    The Daily Heil is attempting to orchestrate yet another anti-BBC witch-hunt at the moment because of Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time last week. But they are using ‘freedom of press’ and ‘freedom of speech’ arguements on the subject of Jan Moir.

    Whe the double standard?

  31. Brian Burton 26 Oct 2009, 4:43pm

    Jan Moir gave up the right to any kind of defence when she dihonered a dead person, namely Stephan Gately. Heartless? maybe! But Moir was completely heartless when composing her destructive, anti-gay, homophobic article.

  32. Simon Murphy 26 Oct 2009, 4:51pm

    RobN: “If people want to kick up a stink and get things noticed, they should maybe get their priorities right. Instead of defending some has-been pop act, a demonstration demanding better police support and LGBT protective legislation might have been more worthy.”

    Indeed but the celebrity link is all powerful. Greater safety from homophobic attacks is of course far more important than Stephen Gately’s death. But it lacks the ‘glamour factor’. Sad but that’s the reality.

    Look at the ‘Jade Goody’ effect. Thousands of women ignore letters telling them to get cervical screening every year. However when Jade Goody (a woman noteable for her stupidity) dies of cervical cancer suddenly the screening levels shoot through the roof.

    Like it or not people respond to celebrity stories. It is moronic in the extreme but that’s the world we live in.

  33. Sorry, but her article justified the response against her entirely. She must surely have been aware of at least some of the antagonism her article would generate, to not be aware of this would mean she is naive in the extreme.

    Given this, any problems or homophobia its stirred up in already latent homophobic people is not the fault or the responsibility of the reaction against her. And yes, she DOES owe an apology, for the extreme offence her article caused.

  34. Harthacanute 26 Oct 2009, 5:07pm

    I am regret to say that the author of this article just doesn’t seem to get it.

    This isn’t about Jan Moir’s right to say what she said – it is about whether a newspaper, which subscribes to the PCC’s voluntary Code of Conduct, should ever have published it .. and whether, in publishing it, the newspaper is in breach of that code.

    If you are going to defend Jan Moir, then at least have the kahonas to defend her and The Daily Mail against what they are actually being accused of; because without tackling that crucial issue, this article is missing the point entirely, addressing a non-issue and coming across as little more than a mischievous (and not very skilled) attempt at being awkward and flamebaiting.

  35. vulpus_rex 26 Oct 2009, 5:14pm

    “Please explain to me why you think the activities of a private citizen on a personal holiday has ANYTHING to do with me or you.”

    Sigh, I repeat:

    “Suggesting that SG was no more than a private individual and that how he died is of no public interest absolutely shatters the thin link to credibility of your other points”

    As you yourself admit:

    “Like it or not people respond to celebrity stories.”

    But crypto-fascists like you, along with your BNP buddies don’t really like inconvenient facts do you?

  36. Harthacanute 26 Oct 2009, 5:19pm

    But crypto-fascists like you, along with your BNP buddies don’t really like inconvenient facts do you?

    Get over yourself, vulpus.

  37. Harthacanute 26 Oct 2009, 5:28pm

    @Adrian T

    Do it quickly because I am adapting this very piece for a national newspaper, right now in fact.

    Well if any national newspaper is willing to publish the ‘article’ in anything like its current inept form, then more fool them because they are going to look a real bunch of prats.

  38. What is the purpose of campaigning for gay rights if it is not to extinguish prejudice?

    To repeat the question earlier, whose prejudiced opinions have been extinguished, anywhere, by this outpouring of hysteria?

    Thinking ‘that’s not something I should say’ is not good enough; a pale victory.

  39. PS You’d be surprised at the shocking state of the British media today, Harthacanute :-)

  40. Where does it say your right to express your views (freedom of speech) exclude you from being accountable for those views once expressed in public. I ask dose Jan Moir’s freedom of expression trump Stephen Gately’s own right to a private and his own freedom of expression.

    Yes Jan Moir is free to say what she wants, when she wants to. But with that freedom come a great responsibility to others not to step on their rights also.

  41. Adrian – I don’t much like being described as ‘little hitler’.

    1. You obviously failed to note that I protested peacefully outside Daily Mail offices on Saturday, not storm the building as the Brownshirts would have done. Don’t try to teach me about the lessons of history.

    2. I don’t need to point out my completely coherent submission to Daily Mail message board on 16th Oct made spontaneously before knowing the more general outrage sparked, to prove to anyone but myself that I understand the limits of expression in a tolerant society.

    3. I don’t need to show my extended and coherent submission to PCC on this matter to prove to anyone but myself my understanding of the PCC code and possible application to the Jan Moir’s objectionable column of 16th Oct.

    You really are an apologist for ‘do nothing’ policy in face of the most poisonous piece of writing. You even repeat the coded ‘orchestrated campaign’ words used in teh Daily Hate. Saturday’s small demonstration was actually a bunch of mis-matched, ill-coordinated, un-connected assorted personages. Far from orchestrated. The only thing in common was outrage at the tone of her article – NOT the questions she asked. Not one of the people there objected to her column on the basis of her trying to get answers to remaining questions over Stephen’s death. It was a question of HOW she asked those questions that was intolerable and unacceptable and for which she was rightly and roundly condemned. You should try to understand the critical difference I’m talking about as your whole piece misses the point.

    As I said earlier, what a free press write is a negotiation within civic scoiety, a negotiation which Daily Hate has not faced up to wrt homophobia unlike racism (cf. Stephen Lawrence reaction). The debate has now started and the score is 1-0 to civilised society IMO. Your argument is for a return to the good ol’ days when The Sun screamed POOFS on the front page. Great… that’s a lovely vision of press freedom.

    I’m sure you’ll defend to the hilt my right to an opinion and have all opinions open to scrutiny.

    Well scrutinise this.

    You’re really not a very good writer – but’s it’s only an opinion and I apologise if you take offense (does that cover everything under the Code?).

  42. Don’t apologise, Paul.

    Telling people to shut up is what little Hitlers do, so I stand by that.

    You left me no option but to fail to note that you ‘protested peacefully’. How can ‘shouting like hell’, as you stated earler, be ‘protesting peacefully’. Gibberish. Not that you are unjustified to do so.

    1-0 to civilised society? There hasn’t been a debate yet. To repeat, whose opinion has been changed?

  43. ‘Shouting like hell’ was metaphor for not staying quiet or apologising for Jan Moir’s odious display of journalistic freedom without responsibility. Sorry you missed that metaphor. I thought professional writers would pick up on that. But as you say (in direct contradiction of yourself in the same paragraph), not unjustified if I did literally shout anything. As I said, the little hitler jibe is heavy handed at best – or don’t you know much about the history of the Rothermere’s?

    As I said repeatedly in my response, this is not about Jan Moir shutting up but the poison in the way she wrote 16/10 column. Nowhere did I say she should shut up.

    The 1-0 is her being coerced into the 2nd column of 23rd which did not use posionous homophobia in the way it was written but did more or less make the same points as the original column, thus proving that freedom of the press is not a banner under which one has universal license but has self-imposed limits. Opinions have not changed but the tone of the debate has.

    “I’ve hardly even got my trousers off, Paul. Much more fun to come if you stick around.”

    Sorry, the last thing this conjures up is fun. Maybe you have revealed enough about yourself already.

  44. Lucius Malfoy 26 Oct 2009, 9:24pm

    You know, I wish we lived in a world where we all weren’t living under the tyranny of the public. But we are. I would love to be able to grow and smoke cannabis without being hindered by the law. But enough people believe that it’s their business to prevent everyone in our society from using cannabis that it is the law. Likewise with gay rights. The only reason we have the rights we do now is because the tyranny of the majority has swung in our direction for once. In light of the way our democracy works, I would say Jan Moir ought to apologize because of the amounts of complaints received. After all, it’s her right to say what she thinks, but it’s also our right to send a complaint if we feel hurt. Just like the many people who complain to the TV stations whenever a gay kiss appears on their TV screens. They have the right to complain. That’s the main problem I have with this article here… the writer acts like it’s totalitarian to send a complaint to the PCC. It’s not totalitarian. People have been sending in complaints about the gay community’s presence for years. Finally we have people complaining in the opposite direction, and that is a good thing. Because we don’t live in the utopia that this article writer believes, where we all live with full freedom to live our lives as we wish so that we wouldn’t need to feel threatened by people whose opinions hark back to a darker time for us. I say it’s a goo thing so many people complained and it’s a good thing if she apologizes, although it’s obvious she isn’t really sorry. My point is that our freedoms are hard won and not to be taken for granted. If she feels pressured to give an apology from a societal backlash, that is the democratic process at work. She isn’t being FORCED to apologize, so she doesn’t even have to. The times are finally on our side, and that’s the only reason we’re not burned on stakes. I say we run with it and make sure our complaints are heard – that this type of speech is unacceptable. That doesn’t mean we make her speech illegal. The BNP has a right to exist and say what it wants. But the masses have a right to alienate the BNP as well. And that’s what we should do… alienate Jan Moir.

  45. Harthacanute 26 Oct 2009, 9:26pm

    Telling people to shut up is what little Hitlers do

    Erm, Adrian, given the subject of this article – i.e. the fact that you are telling large sections of the LGBT community to shut up – wouldn’t that make you a short dark German with a funny moustache and an inferiority complex the size of a planet?

  46. No, seriously, Paul, ‘Shouting like hell’ means ‘shouting like hell’; to say otherwise is foolishness on your part. Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler? (how can speech be heavy handed?)

    She said nothing remotely satisfactory in the second article, telling everyone she didn’t imply something she blatantly did. To hell with the tone, the content is all that matters.

    As for inciting hatred in the first article – to repeat, hysterical babble. To link her opinion piece with homophobic attacks is frankly absurd, off-the-scale-nonsense.

    Like you said, nothing has changed. Prejudices unchanged. 24% of the UK still wants to recriminalise gay sex.

    Look, I don’t care about Jan Moir. She published, faced the consequences. The comments, Twitters, Facebook, YouTube anger, opinion pieces in all the main Newspapers, the pulling of advertising, protesting outside her office (depending on what was actually on your placard) – this is all great. That is not news.

    Still I don’t need to call the PCC, and I certainly don’t need to call the police either, to resolve this. Many people think gay relationships are inferior. You will not change their opinion or increase their understanding with a non-true argument that saying so might result in a murder in trafalgar Square, or similar hysterical nonsense. Say that if you must, but you will be seen as a crackpot by the vast majority of people, including me.

  47. crazyamoeba 26 Oct 2009, 9:52pm

    Simon, I agree with you. And I wouldn’t worry about vulpus_rex. If this person’s only response to your argument now is to ‘sigh’ and repeat the same thing, which is after all, a matter of personal opinion, then that tells you all you need to know, I think. Some people would consider Gately to have been a celebrity, others may not. This person’s repetition of their opinion doesn’t make it fact.
    And in my own opinion, the fact that not many media outlets at all reported that Gately was going on holiday before he died, I would say that this speaks for itself also.
    On a more general note on the article, how is asking for an apology attempting to silence someone? Moir gave no reason for her assertion, as the article states, and it was insensitive, ill-timed and possibly offensive. Any other public figure who made a comment (about anything or anyone) which was all of these things would be asked to apologise. This is not an ‘orchestrated’ attack by a group of petty and bitter gays.
    The article missed the point, as did vulpes.

  48. It would Harthacanute, but I’ve told nobody to shut up, anywhere. Just ridiculed the reasoning and reaction of a lot of hysterical people. Or, are all these people to be ringfenced from any criticism?

  49. You’re mixing my posts with others. I did not link her piece to attacks in Trafalgar Square. If you can’t be bothered to read my posts then read no further.

    If you don’t think this is incitement to hatred then you haven’t heard, as I have, others talking in sickening terms about Gately and gays getting what they deserve.

    This is one incident and change comes dropping slowly and it certainly doesn’t come from people like you, sickening apologists for status quo.

    “Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?”

    That’s heavy-handed writing in case you needed an example. Clumsy cliche in most circumstances, just unfunny here.

    “wouldn’t that make you a short dark German with a funny moustache and an inferiority complex the size of a planet?”. That’s humourous and was not stolen from a popular TV show.

    Being contrary does not make you some kind of paragon of objectivity. It makes you the enemy to be honest in this case.

  50. Lucius Malfoy 26 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

    That’s true, apologists for the status quo have defended everything horrible in the past. “Let’s not end slavery so soon… sure it’s bad, but we don’t want to antagonize the slave-owning elite too much, do we? Let’s put their feelings on an equal level as the feelings of the slaves they abuse, and then come to a decision. Maybe we can come to a compromise that doesn’t involve the full abolition of slavery.”
    Watch as the current apologists put down what I say, “Oh that’s just ridiculous, this is different, this is the modern world.” Well, if you fail to see the connections, then you’ve failed to learn from history. If you fail to realize that the way people felt in all points of history was that they were on the cutting edge of time (the same way we feel today) then you fail to understand what history really is/was. It was the present, as now is our present, and to be complacent and think that we’ve left the horrors in the past is idiotic at best but conspiratorially sinister at worst.

  51. You haven’t given me any clear example where Moir’s article is an incitement to hatred – which of course, you can’t, because it isn’t. To hell with what you have seen or read, give me the evidence from Mrs Moir’s article.

    (How do you know what I have seen, heard or read in the day’s following Mr Gately’s death? It’s beyond your powers to know this information. Again, you’re talking out of your backside. Did you report any of this abusive language, or challenge it, by the way?).

    As you can see, Mrs Moir is not alone. How do you propose to challenge all these opinions by dictating what may or may not be said and in what manner?

    Yours is the sure way to keep opinions unexposed, unchallenged, uninformed, unchanged, until the next kid gets kicked to death. Who is really helping maintain the ‘status quo’?

  52. Lots has been said about how Jan Moir could not have printed a similar article about an ethnic minority and got away with it. That’s true and as it should be. Why? because those battles have been fought. 20 or 30 years ago it would have been possible, but in the intervening times ethnic minorities have argued their case, sometimes vociferously and sometimes things have spilled out into street protest and worse.

    The gay rights movement really took off after a bunch of drag queen’s kicked off in repsonse to Police brutality. The age of consent debate in this country got some notice because we stood up and did something about it. Mr Tippetts, the debate is on now BECAUSE 22,000 people complained about JM and her vile column, noother reason. The sight of hundreds in Trafaglar Square on Friday night will get the issue of homophobic attacks in the news and into public debate. We need to take the fight to the masses if we want to be respected, cos they sure ain’t going to give us anything if we sit here and keep our mouths shut and our feet off the streets. no one ever got anything changed by keeping the hell quiet about it! Don’t ask, don’t get is not just a cliche!

    Did the Tories scrap the poll tax simply because it was talked about? No, it was scrapped because people refused to pay and got onto the streets and protested. This crap from JM is our Poll tax and we need to challenge media homophobia at source and get onto the streets and in the faces of those who use it as a cover to attack us.

  53. Well said Lucius.

    Tippett – I won’t take a lesson from you on challenging homophobia and I can’t waste more time.

  54. Nick…. great post. A tipping point has arrived IMO.

  55. But Lucius, how do you know Mrs Moir’s comments are the cause, not the symptom, of prejudice?

    You are linking events, where people rise up against real harm against the LGBT community, to a petition in response to perceived harm. It’s not the same. And I’m hoping you are not implying that we your argument can only be won by numbers. If so, then you have gained nothing, because you have persuaded no-one,as I was pointing out to the previous debater who has finally realised he has no argument anymore.

    The thoughts are still there – and to be honest, racism is still there. One million people say they would consider voting BNP. What has banishing Nick Griffin from the dbate done? Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Burnley saw votes of 16% BNP. Thousands of pounds have to be pumped into anti-racism campaigns at football stadiums all across the country.

    I trust you are also campaigning to shut down faith schools, religious programmes, mega churches, mosques and synagogues too, for consistency?

    (I’ll be there too on Friday, needless to say. As you say, uprisings are still necessary.)

  56. (I meant Nick in my previous post)

  57. Harthacanute 27 Oct 2009, 8:05am

    You haven’t given me any clear example where Moir’s article is an incitement to hatred – which of course, you can’t, because it isn’t. To hell with what you have seen or read, give me the evidence from Mrs Moir’s article.

    We don’t need to give you examples. It is your vapid article and it is you who has singularly failed to put forward any sort of sound coherent argument to convince a discerning reader that what you are saying is right, or even that complaining about Jan Moir’s article in any way infringes her freedom of speech.

    Sorry Adrian, but a hypocritical little wannabe Hitler is EXACTLY what you are – you are both bot telling people to shut up and verbally abusing anyone who exercises their freedom of speech to tell you just how weak your argument is. You think you are a provocative latter day Peter Tatchell, but you aren’t – you are just a sad little angry man, with an ulterior motive, in a rabid lather

    Argued differently, I would actually agree with much of what you are saying – especially about the risk of a backlash – but arguing as you are – lashing out with all all your half-baked comparisons and subliminal Islamophobia – this doesn’t even make appealing toilet paper.

  58. Er… no, I’ve told nobody to shut up, so stop whining and wingeing like a little child. Who have I told to shut up?

    You damn well do need to provide examples, since that is what people are hysterically claiming. I’m asking you to back up your accusations. Do you have a reason to believe this, or does it just make you feel good to think so?

    (Oh so highlighting the stupidity of the West Midlands Polics is Islamophobia? Your comments are banal.)

  59. What ulterior motive do I have Harthacanute, and how do you know this information?

  60. Harthacanute 27 Oct 2009, 8:33am

    Oh so highlighting the stupidity of the West Midlands Polics is Islamophobia?

    But it wasn’t just the West Midlands reference was it?

    And no, sorry Adrian, but I don’t damn well need to do whatever some insignificant, jumped up, short-tempered, toerag with an attitude problem tells me to do.

  61. Then you have no argument, and no reason to criticise Jan Moir, it’s as simple as that. And no reason for the PCC to take your complaint seriously.

    (are you psycopathic excusing hate preachers, or psycopaths who mutilate young women? with your first comment? What is ‘Islamophobia’?)

  62. (Sorry, I’ll rephrase that. Are you excusing psychopathic hate preachers, or psychopaths who mutilate young women with your first comment? Why is it ‘Islamophobia’ to highlight such incidents, which are very real?)

  63. Harthacanute 27 Oct 2009, 8:54am

    Then you have no argument, and no reason to criticise Jan Moir, it’s as simple as that. And no reason for the PCC to take your complaint seriously.

    Don’t I? It is YOUR absurd article and lack of coherent argument we are debating here and I have already explained why I think what I think about it and I don’t need to justify it further.

    Since you know nothing at all about my 3,000+ word complaint to the PCC, even attempting to comment on the validity of it just shows you up as the egomaniac you are.

    And do you really think that my pointing out that you have an excessive fondness for using examples from the Islamic world, when there are plenty from much closer to home, makes me an excuser of hate preachers and psychopaths who mutilate young women? If so, then you truly are as unhinged as this rabid, incoherent, article makes you appear.

    But do carry on, because with every fuming post you make you only succeed in reinforcing the image of yourself as the hypocritical little wannabe Hitler with a serious temper management issue.

  64. (are you attacking my article or me harthacanute? it’s hard to tell, wading through your swamp of BS, Harthacanute)

    Freedom of speech is sacrosanct. She hurt a lot of feelings; there is no evidence of any incitement to hatred – implied by several people earlier.

    Once you make exeptions for hurt feelings, it will turn around on you one day. It becomes and nearly did become, a criminal offence to criticise hate preachers. It’s a real event that has happened. Nothing unhinged about that.

    I can provide many more examples from the Islamic world, most of which has yet to enter what we might term ‘civilisation’ as human rights records are abysmal. And the reason why they are abysmal is hurt feelings, religious rights are deemed more important than human rights.

    I’ll say to you what should have been said to the rabid, murderous crackpots determined to be offended at Danish cartoons: grow a thicker skin.

  65. homophobia needs to be as unacceptable as racism
    unlike Vulpus I didn’t assume to know what happened
    she wouldn’t have been able to write such evil about women or heteros yet I’m meant to feel bad for being disgusted now am I?

  66. Harthacanute 27 Oct 2009, 9:42am

    grow a thicker skin.

    Then do learn to heed your own words – before you drown the Amazon Basin with your BS.

    As for the rest of your drivel: Adrian, do yourself a favour and take your medication.

  67. Harthacanute 27 Oct 2009, 9:45am

    I can provide many more examples from the Islamic world, most of which has yet to enter what we might term ‘civilisation’ as human rights records are abysmal. And the reason why they are abysmal is hurt feelings, religious rights are deemed more important than human rights

    Did anyone else spot Melanie Phillips enter the room?

  68. As I have said before, you present no argument, no reasoning, and no solution for addressing prejudice. Rushing to the PCC every time you hear something that you don’t like will do nothing for equality.

  69. An excellent link, Rob. It hits the nail on the head.

  70. Rubbish! Jaine Moir knew exactly how offensive her slurs and slimy insinuations were to Gateley’s family, his partner and his friends, nevertheless, she went ahead and wrote them.

    How would it have gone down if, say, a priest had been found dead and an LGBT reporter had commented on, say, the death of a heterosexual performer, suggesting that “drugs may have been a contributing factor”, without the slightest bit of evidence? How would that make *any* family feel? Were I in their shoes, I’d sue Moir for slander of my dead son/brother/nephew.

    Just about the worst thing we can do is to leave her to say what she will about a prominent member of our Community.

    I vehemently reject your position and encourage LGBTQI people to remain vocal, united and mutually supportive in the face of a swing to the right that is fuelling violent homophobic crime.

    Moir gives comfort to homophobes that see things the way she does, just as Nick Griffin and his filthy cohorts give comfort to racists.

    Let your enemy get you down on your knees once, and you will find yourself living on your knees… Nah! Stand Up! Proud, vocal, vehement and refuse to go away until you get justice… or give up the whole thing and go hide back in the closet.

  71. Come on people. Whilst violence is not acceptable in any form. Freedom Of Speech doesn’t just mean things we like to hear. They do include things we don’t like hearing. Jan Moir’s article was not so much homophobic as just plain ignorant. We have just as many bigots within the gay community when it comes to body shape, appearance, sexuality etc. Whilst we may not agree some people will always disaprove of people’s right to be gay. A lot is clearly because they dare not understand. Nevertheless, life would be a lot duller if we all agreed to everything and there was nothing to debate in the hope and satisfaction of changing peoples minds. A subject in which we as gay people have come along way.

  72. Adrian’s (un)original, limp and lacklustre comment piece read like something out of The Daily Mail. His subsequent comments only serve to confirm that his opinions are indeed formed by The Daily Mail.

    Rarely have I read anything so rude, intolerant and bumptious.

  73. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 10:35am

    Bishop Ioan (14):

    You said:

    “However, just for the sake of arguemnt, let’s say you’re right, Voodoo. Is that any reason to oppress and persecute people?
    What percentage of the population would you accept that they deserve to be left to live in peace?

    I submit that LGBTQ people have the right to freedom, acceptable treatment, and civil right, REGARDLESS of what causes it or how many of us there are.”

    Spot on!

    And I’m sorry to see that you and you’re lovely partner have left the membership gathering place (my.pinknews). Won’t you come back?

  74. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 10:41am

    AdrianT (63):

    You said:

    “(Sorry, I’ll rephrase that. Are you excusing psychopathic hate preachers, or psychopaths who mutilate young women with your first comment? Why is it ‘Islamophobia’ to highlight such incidents, which are very real?)”

    There you go making sense again. Isn’t it a crime to support terrorists in the UK?

    In fact yours are the only consistently sensible comments on this entire thread.

    As for Adrian Tippetts’ article, doesn’t he sound a wee bit like our friend MC? What a confusing heap of verbal diarrhea!

  75. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 10:52am

    Harvey (73):

    Who exactly elected you to speak for the rest of us? You have used the pronoun “we” 6 times in your brief comment, and you haven’t used the pronoun “I” once.

    I’m not telling you to shut up, really, just to speak for yourself and stop pretending you possess godlike qualities that enable you to know what the rest of us are thinking.

    And please don’t tell me that any moron would know that the pronoun “we” includes the pronoun “I”. This ain’t the time or the place to be diplomatic, your majesty.

  76. Jean-Paul Bentham

    Are you simultaneously saying that Adrian Tippetts is the only one making sense whilst his article is a confusing heap of verbal diarrhoea? Or is Adrian T not Adrian Tippetts? Or have I just missed a point somewhere?

    Adrian T’s points are as ineffectually argued as Adrian Tippetts’ in the comment piece; so I had, perhaps incorrectly, assumed they were one and the same person.

  77. Mark H is right, I’m afraid, JP :-)

  78. Sensible approach at last. Thanks, Mr Tippetts.

  79. Jean Paul-Bentham: You have just proved My point! If We don’t like it, it shouldn’t be said. If we dare say if well… “I” feel you’re the kind of person who holds the gay community back, yet Our exchanges are an example of Freedom Of Speech. It’s nice to hear weither We like hearing it or not!

  80. Mark H is right, I’m afraid, JP

    Well that’s a relief – you never know with Sheffield Wednesday supporters ;)

  81. Three cheers for Adrian Tippetts! Let Jan Moir voice her loathsome views; let the world condemn her and challenge her, and it has pretty much happened. Let it rest there. I vividly remember the use of the illiberal blasphemy laws to prosecute Gay News for publishing James Kirker’s homoerotic poem about Jesus. Let us never forget what demanding laws or sanctions to punish unpalatable views can mean for US.

  82. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 11:58am

    Who said anything about Monkeychops? Kind of early to be stinking drunk and furious, ain’t it?

  83. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 12:08pm

    Adrian Tippet:

    Next time, let’s edit your contributions to journalism, OK.
    In the first place, it’s so verbiose and scattered as to be confusing. Nice try.

    As for me, I am very much aware of the fact that I am just a speck of intergalactic dust who is just beginning to see clearly the problems the future generations will have to face.

    And I still believe you think clearly in your threads, as always.

    Admitting our inner contradictions is part of the maturing process, as far as I’m concerned.

  84. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 12:12pm

    Harvey (82):

    You said:

    ‘”I” feel you’re the kind of person who holds the gay community back…’

    There, that wasn’t hard was it. Stand up like a man and talk for yourself, lad.

    Temper, temper!

  85. Jean-Paul Bentham: Never mind m8, I’m sure you’ll understand the word “debate” one day.

  86. Well Done Adrian Tippets. An excellent piece and clearly one that gets attention.

  87. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 12:32pm

    Harvey(82):

    You said:

    ‘”I” feel you’re the kind of person who holds the gay community back…’

    Now that I think of it, you are making a judgemental and prejudiced statement.

    In English, it is correct to state “how” you are feeling if you intend to express your feeling.

    For example, “I feel certain that you…”.

    Or again, “I feel anxious that you…”.

    And again, “I feel thrilled that you…”.

    “I feel stupid that you…”. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    Check it out with your English professor, dimwit.

    But I ain’t bitter.

  88. Jean-Paul Bentham 27 Oct 2009, 12:44pm

    AdrianT (63):

    You said:

    “(Sorry, I’ll rephrase that. Are you excusing psychopathic hate preachers, or psychopaths who mutilate young women with your first comment? Why is it ‘Islamophobia’ to highlight such incidents, which are very real?)”

    There you go making sense again. Isn’t it a crime to support terrorists in the UK?

  89. Kudos to Adrian, the truth is the truth, no matter how the PC brigade try to twist it into the opposite. Truth is knowledge and knowledge is power, and in denying the truth we only disempower ourselves. More power to you Adrian against this rabid PC lynch mob!

  90. PS: Is this the same Adrian T as the one who wrote a daft comment piece attacking Derren Brown’s innocent self-deprecating gay aside to a member of his televised audience? You’ve come a long way, baby!!

  91. I don’t recall writing any articles Derren Brown, Sean.
    Not in this life, at least :-)

  92. PS Thanks for the kind comments earlier.
    (someone report this comment, which is just a cheap way of ensuring the top two most commented articles this week so far are the author’s)

  93. Brian Burton 28 Oct 2009, 8:40am

    I think every on who commented on this thread was right…so there!

  94. Yawn. Yet another idiot who can’t tell the difference between criticising what someone says and denying them free speech.

  95. This woman is homophobic, plain and simple and her homophobic scribbling is unacceptable by any standards.

  96. Long live freedom of speech! It’s great to see we have so many views and we can all express them, even saying how we can use aggressive language even on this comments page to say how we disagree with them and equate them to a mass murderer of innocent people who just happened to be cut unlike the great race of white uncut people.

    Of course, if we banned comments that were full of hate then comments pages like this would be banned too.

  97. This article starts off by saying “Homophobia breeds when we silence opinions we don’t like.” An interesting premis, but it raises questions. How? Where is your evidence of this? Are there academic studies which prove it? I don’t think so. It sounds nice, but it’s just your opinion isn’t it. You’ve quoted from a play (which is not a reflection of real life) of to back your point up. I’m sorry but your argument is unsupported and I disagree.

    Moir should not be allowed to publish such hateful tripe. Freedom of speech is vastly over-rated, and in the wrong hands, incredibly dangerous. That’s my opinion.

    I keep hearing people reiterate how important it is to debate hateful ideas – that it’s the only way to defeat them. Let’s be realistic though. If you did any academic research you’d see that most people aren’t persuaded by debate. They selectively hear the bits of an argument that support their point and disregard the rest. Debates just polarise most people. Support for the BNC actually went UP after Question Time. Debate doesn’t work. Don’t you think there was a reason why homophobes wanted to keep gay people in the closet and quiet for so long. It’s because they knew that that was the best way to keep the hate going. And they had a point. Give an idea oxgyen – and there will always be people who believe it – no matter how bonkers.

  98. Jan Moir = odious column shot through with subliminal and non-subliminal homophobia.
    Adrian T = odious column from a quisling collaborationist apologist for homophobia under the guise of ‘free speech means anything goes in the name of rational debate’. He knows no limits and would have hailed Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement as the triumph of reason over prejudice.

  99. Paul Mc cannot distinguish between a newspaper article, which called for harm against no one, and the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Just when I thought you could not be any more ridiculous, Paul Mc, you come back to surprise me.

    Tom: ‘debate doesn’t work’? OK, well why bother having elections then? Isn’t that what the BNP would say, if they had the chance?

    How do you think the gay community gained support? it was through debate,. challenging people to look at the evidence. Not just marching and building barricades, which had their place too – in the face of real aggression. People such as Harvey Milk, debating christian fundamentalists to win over the people, ahead of a vote which would have banned gays from teaching. You take them on, you challenge them, through reason.

    The result of unchallenged prejudices: One million voters who already want to vote for the BNP, before the Question Time idea ever emerged. Statistics on muslim attitudes to homosexuals, The Observer survey of 27 October 2008; Even so, I don’t need any surveys like that. Go and join up with a few football supporters’ internet forums. See what is said, which cannot be said in print. Actually if you read the reports, the far right are up in arms, threatening a leadership contest. The atroceous Question Time performance shows people’s inability to make a case against obnoxious opinions. First attempts are worst attempts.

    If you banish them, you push them underground. How else do you eliminate prejudices? You can take away their free speech by threat, but you tell people what to think. There is no other way to do that apart from reason.

    It’s high time gay people grew up and made their case rather, than rushing like little spoilt children for the apron strings of the PCC, or even more ludicrously, the police, when they hear something they don’t like.

  100. Brian Burton 29 Oct 2009, 7:31am

    What a couldren of opinion surrounding this person Jan Moir. She certainly knows how to sow seeds of discontent in a community. Of course, we need to get rid of any attempt by journalists or the church even to to project Gay people as depicted in Moir’s article. The Moir’s of this world will tend to brutalize the Gay concept itself, she is a ‘poser’ set in proes and nothing can cure the soul but the sences and nothing can cure the sences but the soul.

  101. The Halcyon 29 Oct 2009, 4:33pm

    I agree with the view that pieces like Jan Moir’s column are excellent litmus tests for societal attitudes. Ten, even five years ago I would have expected that similar comments (and I can’t name any off the top of my head) were largely undetected/unchecked by the public but with a change in attitudes, 20,000 people felt strongly enough to complain.

    And I agree that Moir doesn’t owe any apologies for her opinions – she is a columnist, her job is to pen a piece which gives her opinion on contemporary events. If she chimes in with the public mood, she stays. If she is at odds with the public mood, the editor releases her from her contract, it’s as simple as that.

    That’s not to say people weren’t wrong with registering their disgust with the nature of the article in question, and that organisations weren’t wrong with removing their advertising banners from the webpage. But there needs to be a little perspective here. We can’t go around punishing people who say things we don’t agree with or are offended by unless the nature of the comments made are so offensive and are set out to be deliberately offensive. Moir’s comments were typical reactionary, knee-jerk stuff which is broadly in line with the sneering nature of the Daily Mail’s editorial policy. However, she clearly didn’t check her facts and she just totally misread the public mood. She’s a fool and a silly cow but it’s not reasonable for those outraged to demand their pound of flesh.

  102. I can’t be arsed to collate my points into coherent paragraphs so bullets will have to do.

    1. Moir’s arguments are spectacularly idiotic. Refuting them is almost too easy… yet nobody (bar Adrian) has even attempted to do this.

    2. The Wail is presented as a serious paper and its readers believe that the opinions therein are coherent and backed up with evidence. Unlike the ‘pure tabloid’ readership, Wail readers like to believe that their opinions are thought-out and stand up to scrutiny, despite all evidence to the contrary. Very simple, persuasive and irrefutable arguments are what is required change these people’s opinions. Unfortunately, despite their availability (see point 1) most people would rather vent their anger at the fact that the opinions were aired in the first place.

    3. In addition to defending Moir’s freedom of speech (which as far as I can tell has never been at stake) I believe Adrian is defending her right to skewer herself. After all, few people are capable of doing as much damage to her reputation as a rational being than Moir herself (the same is true of a certain Mr. Griffin). However, in order for this lunacy to be properly exposed, we must do our part by offering rational arguments in return. Shouting hysterically that our human rights have been breached is going to do nothing to persuade somebody who believes we have none in the first place. Exposing irrationality just might.

    4. Finally, excellent piece, Adrian. Almost hard to believe it’s possible to find people actually arguing against debate, especially one we are so well equipped to win.

  103. Brian Burton 29 Oct 2009, 6:37pm

    Halcyon,
    Jan Moir dis-honoured a dead person and that ment she decended into the depthes of journalistic depravity. For you to defend her in any form is inexcuseable.

  104. The Halcyon 29 Oct 2009, 6:54pm

    Brian Burton – to follow your line of attack would mean that criticism of any dead person is to “descend into the depths of journalistic depravity”. So when gay people talk negatively about long dead homophobes like Baroness Young or Idi Amin – is that not the same thing?

  105. Adrian, it was only when 20,000 disgusted individuals raised their online voices high and loud did we manage to put the wind up the Daily Hate and extract even the pseudo apology from Moir. It was only when the fuss was made by people who are not going to write apologies for homophobes and put it it all in the sphere of ‘polite debate’ that anyone else actually heard or read this odious column and allowed it to be held up for wider public scrutiny. Count me as one of the 20,000 who read it and reacted from the gut. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” Elie Weisel.

  106. I’m not asking anyone to be silent, Paul. By all means, voice disgust on Twitter, Facebook, the comments section of the Daily Mail, YouTube, discussion forums, letters to newspapers, opinion pieces, demonstrations outside Associated ‘Newspapers’. I’m delighted you did. I sure there were many more than 20,000 that did that collectively. She’s a marked, derided, woman, it’s all over her wikipedia profile, for ever and ever. Google her and the results on page one are unprintable. What a legacy to have. All this is deserved, necessary.

    Someone voiced the concern that I want to politely disagree – no, i’m not. You can see that from my earlier posts over the last year or so, in dealing with religious nutcases who stray onto this site. Johann Hari, Peter Tatchell, Richard dawkins are good examples of how to deal with crackpots.

    IN any case. being from south yorkshire, I couldn’t be polite if I tried. Certainly, it was a pleasure to argue with the fundamentalist protesters at gay pride, and winding them up was great fun. Unfortunately the police spoilt the fun and decided I might start a riot, and began forcing me back. Next year, we’ll be bringing megaphones too.

    But I just won’t agree with silencing any opponents through threats, unless they really do intend harm by what they write or say. The greatest battles are of ideas, and if people have no words to fight them with they will resort to other means.

    I am more concerned that gay hate crime is given proper attention, and that LGBT people have fair representation in the media, which isn’t happening.

  107. “IN any case. being from south yorkshire, I couldn’t be polite if I tried.”

    That looks like stereotyping to me.

    “But I just won’t agree with silencing any opponents through threats, unless they really do intend harm by what they write or say.”

    You can’t always know what they intend.

  108. Innocent until proven guilty dave – your job to prove the cause, not Jan’s to disprive it….

  109. The Halcyon 31 Oct 2009, 10:53pm

    Thanks for that oh-so thought out and erudite comment Brian. Not only can you not put together a coherent argument but you immediately launch into name-calling. Reported.

  110. Brian Burton 1 Nov 2009, 12:32pm

    Halcyon, You are a gutless coward!

  111. Brian Burton 1 Nov 2009, 12:48pm

    Halcyon, Up yours too dear!

  112. Brian Burton 7 Nov 2009, 7:38am

    CONCLUSION, AFTER 111 COMMENTS: JAN MOIR HAS NO VALID DEFENCE!

  113. David Styles 11 Jan 2010, 7:34pm

    She is an unpleasant woman, but sadly well suited to her publication. You can blame the Daily Mail for most things “wrong” with this country. It’s popular press for the masses… of bigots and right wing scum that soil this great country.

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