Left-wing American commentator and comedian Greg Gutfeld suggested on his blog yesterday that opening a gay bar next to the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City would be a way of “building bridges”.

Although it was unclear how serious Mr Gutfeld’s proposal was, the idea has taken off in the blogosphere and sparked fresh debates on the ever-contentious subjects of Islam and homosexuailty.

On his blog, DailyGut.com, Mr Gutfeld wrote: “As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.

“The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance. Bottom line: I hope that the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque. After all, the belief driving them to open up their center near Ground Zero, is no different than mine.”

James Joyner, a liberal political blogger said that he thought Gutfeld was right, whether serious or not, adding that “having to put up with the right of others to do things you find offensive is the price you pay for living in a free society.”

Even a writer on the right-wing website HotAir.com com seemed to be in favour of the idea of opening up a space for LGBT muslims on the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, stating: “Not an idea that would play well with Christians or Jews vis-a-vis property adjacent to a church or temple, but oh well: If we’re going to celebrate tolerance regardless of the sensitivities of the surrounding area, let’s celebrate!”