I shall be making a complaint. Homophobic writing like this is not justifiable or acceptable in a newspaper that follows ethical standards (perhaps thats why the Mail published it).
Look forward to their response.
I don’t anything worth writing a complaint about? It’s just a different opinion.
It’s offensive, but just because we don’t like something, we have to complain?!
The ad was different – going out to a massive audience, including those who are vulnerable, and promoting a treatment deemed harmful by experts. We were RIGHT to complain about that.
Now this article might arguably perpetuate homophobia, but it’s FREE SPEECH. We can’t shut people up because we don’t like what they say. This is fundamental in moving towards equality.
I sent my complaints in. This Boot needs to be stopped. He knowingly causes trouble by knowingly stirring up mentally unbalanced people to do things against the gay people. Alexander Boot is an anti-gay man who is a criminal because he contributes to the hate that stirs up homophobic people to do bad things to others. Kick the Boot out.
Mr Boot welcomes feedback to his blogs as stated on his blog page :
I would be delighted to hear from anyone concerning my work and writings. Please use the form below – I will respond as soon as possible.
That’s what I did. Didn’t send him abuse, just pointed out a few issues with his opinion.
” Mr Boot writes that if everyone were gay, it would “spell the end of the human race””
…well for starters, that’d not be true because of surrogacy.
I have no idea why Christians and homophobes so often prefer to use imaginable scenarios and hypothetical situations in their debates as opposed to using truth and facts? Probably has something to do with that NONE of the facts agreeing with what they propose…
TOTALLY agree, it shows you how stupid these people must be to think that gay == infertile: Yes, a gay couple cannot create a child through sex with each other, but it’s so astonishingly stupid to arrive at the “Therefore end of human race” scenario from this that I wonder how these people actually function day to day! What a wonderfully simple world they must live in with such limited brainpower.
Plenty of gay and bisexual (always forget the bisexuals) guys want biological children, and go on to achieve this.
Also, here’s the thing. Lets say he IS right, and if “everyone is gay, then that’d be the end of the human race” then yeah, he’d be right, being gay would be a bad thing. However, not everyone is gay. So that makes his point redundant and unnecessary. What does he expect to happen? It’s an utter logical fallacy. It almost looks like he’s trying to make people say “yeah, if everyone was gay and we couldn’t have kids, then that’d make being gay a bad thing” so that he can jump and down saying “See! Deep down you think being gay is a bad thing!”
Exactly. If everyone were male, that would be the end of the human race, but you can’t argue from that that we should eradicate all males – indeed, if you were to do so, then aside from sperm banks, that would also be the end of the human race!
Imbecilic argument. We don’t hand our reproductive organs in when we step out of the closet.
But what can I say? He’s christian – believing in, pushing and pandering to nonsense is part of the game. And idiot would be believe that a man could live inside a big fish, an idiot would believe that a woman can be turned to salt, an idiot would believe that the human race is in danger of extinction.
There are endless hypothetical situations we could worry about. What if apes developed opposable thumbs, super intelligence and reproduced at a staggering rate? Bet he hasn’t thought about that possibility?
It’s only one person’s point of view. And he’s entitled to it. He’s known for writing crap just to wind up other people.
When do we ever read anything in the Daily Mail that would constitute a fair and valuable piece of journalism?
Do we as a community want to spend lots of time giving the Christians yet more publicity to their lies? If there is a complaint en masse that’s exactly what such action will do.
Best to ignore him and that awful rag of a “newspaper”.
I must admit I too am usually overcome by a wave of boredom whenever some ridiculous article in the Daily Mail is mentioned.
I kind of agree. I won’t ignore him though. I will tell him what I think of him, using the greatest weapon of all, Reason.
The petition is well intentioned but flawed. The reality is, we live in a society where a minority have such views. If we silence them, we deny them and everyone else the right to change their mind. By signing the petition, you are effectively voting to protect that opinion. don’t sign! thanks x
Lets try asking him to abstain from fleshy encounters, after all the world is over populated as it is so surely being gay is the right thing to do?
Mind you looking at the picture of him, he is Boot by name and Boot by nature! Vile, old man that he is!
I did read this piece and, although offensive, it’s not breaking any code I know of?
He’s saying that Christians who believe that being gay is immoral can ask gay people to not have sex. We know this is their view. It’s bollocks, but until we can irrefutably PROVE (i.e. with many studies and scientific evidence), it’s just our word against theirs.
“While gays should not be reproached or punished, they can, Mr Boot writes, “be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies”, equating homosexuality with kleptomania and physical violence.”
Oh go on, just SAY it, will you? “And paedophilia”. Chicken.
Aberration, as someone on twitter pointed out, might be a correct way to describe homosexuality, but it’s a deliberate choice of word. Aberrant being a word too close to abhorrant for my liking.
Sorry, I missed a bit out: “irrefutably PROVE we were born this way, it’s not a choice, etc…”
Actually, even if we can prove that, they’d just say “Well it’s a test from God and you must still abstain…” etc.
Perhaps, instead of just neg repping my comments, people could kindly explain why i’m wrong on this.
I think people might just be glancing at your post, without reading it properly, and thinking you’re trying to justify or excuse the article.
@Rehan. I do wish they wouldn’t! I think it’s the best attitude to have to get the best result for gay people!
I know, but sometimes it’s hard to take everything in quickly, specially if you’re sneaking onto PN at work!
Well I’ve never been rated so badly.
I’ll put massive disclaimers at the start like “I AM A GAYER. THIS MAN IS BAD. I HATES HIM!”
Hopefully that’ll satisfy the impatient rating brigade.
But if you start posting usages like ‘gayer’ you may well get a thumbs-down from me. :-)
I was being sarcastic!
But if their Argument is about God Testing .
Why would God Test Some ,and not others ?
Having spent time with Christians when younger, I believe they’d say “We all have different tests” and that God doesn’t have to explain himself, you don’t question him, etc.
It’s complete RUBBISH, but that’s what they’d say.
I know how it all works ……and that is how Brainwashing Starts, it’s all very Primitive ,and stops people from thinking outside of the box .
It’s not up to us to prove anything. It is the anti-gay lobby who needs to irrefutably prove that homosexuality causes harm to society (which they can’t) or that there is a treatment (which they can’t). It is irresponsible and dangerous for them to continue promoting these treatments which have been discredited by every reputable professional body. This is not a simple difference of opinion it is fantasy.
Oh, I definitely agree – I’m just saying that’s how these types of Christians will approach it.
For them it IS a difference of opinion. Apparently, us saying it’s not a choice isn’t enough. They want scientific proof (they seem to love the fact that it isn’t genetic).
Mr Boot has misunderstood the meaning of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression relates to the restriction of expression by laws. No-one is arguing that the expression of his views should be unlawful or punishable by criminal codes. It is not about an organisation refusing to allow its facilities, property or resources to be used positively for the dissemination of a particular message.
What should be wrong and unlawful, however, is for an organisation to refuse to allow its facilities, property or resources to be used on discriminatory grounds. Here, the advertisement has been refused not on the grounds that the purchasing organisation is Christian but that because the message is inherently discriminatory and seeks to take away the rights of others.
Mr Boot has misunderstood the meaning of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression relates to the restriction of expression by laws. No-one is arguing that the expression of his views should be unlawful or punishable by criminal codes. Freedom of expression is not, however, about an organisation refusing to allow its facilities, property or resources to be used positively for the dissemination of a particular message.
I certainly don’t agree with the Christian group or the advert, but how is an advert promoting a dubious gay ‘cure’ seeking to ‘take away the rights of others’?
By suggesting impliedly that we are not deserving of equal treatment to which other protected groups are entitled – and that steps should be taken to change and deny us our identity.
I’m inclined to complain but I know it will do no good. The PCC is partial, biased and toothless. They will conclude that “It is an opinions piece and therefore the rules don’t apply” or some such, probably adding “yes the piece is distasteful but in the interest of free speech we have decided not to take any action”…
What would you expect of a body that polices itself?
It would be like the Jan Moir Stephen Gately piece from a few years ago. They did nothing then so why would they this time. As you say, they are spineless!
One thing is guaranteed though if complaints are not made, they won’t even be considered.
By this man’s bizarre faulty logic he should refrain from writing articles for the Daily Mail. For the good of humanity!
A fraction of 1% of the population writes articles for the Daily Mail. Writing Daily Mail articles is an aberration – it’s not normal. If everybody wrote articles for the Daily Mail for a living then we wouldn’t grow any food, the world’s infrastructure would collapse and we’d all starve to death.
It really is very depressing that homophobic bigotry like this is still considered acceptable in mainstream journalism. Were he saying that black people are aberrant (because most people in the UK are white) and should be asked to bleach their skin for the good of society, he would be sacked and fined and possibly even prosecuted.
Is it too late for it to be brought before the Leveson Inquiry?
It reminds me of the dark days of John Junor.
I copied my complaint to Leveson
Dark? Whatever one may say about JJ’s opinions, he was a brilliant journalist and way above most of the scum that label themselves thus these days.
Pass the sick bag, Alice.
I note that the on-line article has no advertisements anywhere on the same page. I wonder why? Seems like The Mail is running scared. Wouldn’t want any of their advertisers complaining and threatening to pull their ads now would they?
While what he wrote is reprehensible, I’m not sure I actually agree with banning or silencing such voices
But voices are silenced every day. When did the mail last publish a story that says such hateful derogatory nonsense about other minority groups like the black community or the jewish community. They don’t. Why not, because those minority groups have stopped people being able to refer to them in such a derogatory manner. There is no such thing as free speech, it’s just carefully controlled speech by those who have power. And we need to stop people speaking about us in such a derogatory way. We want freedom and equality – which is why they try and silence us. Those whom you don’t want to silence want to take that freedom away from us. And I can assure you if they printed stories about other minorities that were as hateful as this, there would be a lot of trouble.
While everything you write is correct, I just feel uncomfortable that every time someone says something about us we all start baying for their blood.
I wonder if he construes heterosexual serial adultery an aberration and if not, why not?
Because it’s possibly normal for most straight men.
7 billion and counting – the human species seems to be doing OK so far.
damn it not enough gays
The moral problems with posting an article arguing that it’s legitimate to ask people to stop being gay are astounding. In short, his article argues that it’s ok to ask people to stop being gay if you find them being gay a bit weird. The article is a prime example of something which really irritates me – the “now, I’m not asserting anything ideological here, I’m just compelled by some inexplicable desire to share dictionary definitions which might be semi-relevant to this discussion with you” approach to getting across bigoted messages without being honest about your bigotry. The core of the deception practised here is that the act of sharing information is, unless you’re an encyclopaedia, itself political. Actors choose what information they want to share and privilege, and manifestations of these choices communicate a great deal about the personal agenda of the actor. As such, it is impossible to innocently write an article claiming that homosexuality is an aberration; when you
choose to write that, your choice and resulting action are homophobic. Ultimately, Boots article appears to amount to him seeming to say “I’m not really a homophobe” when all the words within his article say that he is.
While he acknowledges that homosexuality is innate, he cannot pull himself away from the idea that it is ‘aberrant’, and therefore, why can’t we just say so. But he’s completely confusing the statistical fact that homosexuality is rare in comparison with heterosexuality, with the the cultural attitude and label given to it. Just because something is rare doesn’t mean it has to be treated as abnormal – and to me using the word aberrant, and giving a completely irrelevant and decontextualised dictionary definition of the word ignores the fact that he wants to homosexuality at the margins and allow hetereosexuality to be presented as the ahistorical norm for societies.
Brilliant post! Something to apply to a lot of DM articles.
in his world it seems we are as rare as white tigers, not sure why he even bothers to write anything about something that is so insignificant? and if we are that rare i think we should be classed as unique not aberrant
Oh just calm down. If you don’t like the article don’t read it. But are we really going to make a big deal out of something which is essentially designed to rile the gay community after the bashing the Christians got over the bus adverts. C’mon its equality and respect for all. We slag the Christians off because of the posters, they will respond in kind. It really is rather simple.
What you mean ‘if you don’t like it don’t read it’…!~? lol
How would you know if you don’t like it if you DON’T read it first!?
How bloody stupid is that…!
The Christians who (illegally) pasted homophobic Ads on the side of London Buses aren’t being ‘slagged off’ – they’re being CHALLENGED – trying to claim that homophobia is somehow acceptable as a ‘balance’ to that challenge is bloody daft
“Mr Boot writes that if everyone were gay, it would “spell the end of the human race”, and it is therefore undesirable.”
Clearly Mr Bone believes his argument is absurd, so why use it? If the entire population were male then (regardless of orientation of those men), it would spell the end of the human race, so should be ban people being male or encourage them not to be male. Now, thats an absurd argument – but only as absurd as the comments Boot is making. Gender is a factor determined at birth, like orientation (which Mr Bone accepts).
I don’t see anything in there in his rant that has anything so much to do with religion whereas it has everything to do with his pathological anti-gay bias and bigotry.
Poor old media tart that this sad old Boot is.
religious freak again,
when you poke them the hate really comes out like a boil
will complain too
‘In a Kantian examination which he accepts involves “reductio ad absurdum”’
Aaargh! Why does nobody know what this phrase means? Reductio ad absurdum just means arguing that if A implies B and B is wrong, A must also be wrong. In other words, if you can reduce a statement to something that is absurd, the original statement must be wrong – this is called “proof by contradiction” in maths.
This is a perfectly valid form of argument (so using the phrase “reductio ad absurdum” in a pejorative sense like this is silly), but it is also definitely not the type of argument used by Boot, so he should not have mentioned it in the first place (for the record, his argument is based on two massive fallacies – he assumes that gay people cannot reproduce, and that if lots of X is bad, then any X is bad).
when it comes to daily hatemail’s hit list, gay people find themselves in the fine company of other aberrations like immigrants and muslims
and this is precisely why we have the levesson inquiry looking into abuse (of not very challenging) press standards
If gays are only 1% of the population, why are the gay discos packed on a Saturday night? In a society of equals, numbers should not matter.
In my opinion, the sky is green, but that doesn’t make it so.
is there really any sense to write to a slimeball like paul dace? is it not a waste of time to write to the pcc when paul dace is the chairman of its editors’ code of practice committee? he might only write you back and call you a c—, his favorite put-down. stop buying the mail—it’ll be more effective.
For once and for all we need to be clear about the distinction between people who define themselves as gay and those who act on same sex impulses.
The former subscribe to a construct around a lifestyle of living openly and proudly as a gay-identified person.
The latter include those who are entirely homosexual but choose to stay in the closet, and the vast sea of grey encompassing many, many men who’d never label themselves gay despite the occasional or regular dalliance while maintaining emotional and sexual relations with the opposite sex.
There’s a clear distinction here, but it does appear the gay lobby wants to paint the whole world with a rainbow flag so as to bolster its numbers for political reasons.
I’d say that 1% of the population – i.e. those defining themselves as gay – is about right.
Does this bother me? Heck no, why should it?
If you’re an empowered individual, the pathetic argument of how many gays there are doesn’t bother you in the slightest.
There are purportedly over 3 million gay people in the UK. Whether they define themselves is irrelevant. 3 million+ doesn’t equal 1%.
This is bollocks Samuel…
For the simple reason that numbers MEAN SOMETHING TO POLITICIANS – all the time that people deny our numbers they reinforce the idea that gay people don’t exist.
This is about giving them the proof they say we lack….(when we don’t)
While the concept of sexuality identity is fairly complex, in essence its really simple: some people like to have sex with members of their own ‘sex’ – while this is very, very simple fo define, because of oppression, repression and suppression there are many, MANY people (usually men) who try to deny that this is happening and elect to ‘opt out’ of being open and honest about their sexuality by donning a mask of socio-sexual conformity.
In truth, their confusion and fear only muddies the waters of the debates on equality.
Ultimately someone’s sexuality doesn’t matter – however in a society which seeks to oppress people because of it, it clearly matters VERY much – hence why expression of one’s sexuality is ALSO important.
So why does our so-called “community” still come up with this LBTQI (vaguely interested ,once saw a bloke in the showers naked) type PC bullsh|t?
Instead of fragmenting into numerous little pockets of pseudo-sexuality, we need to remain unified as a whole and fight bigots such as this.
“I’d say that 1% of the population – i.e. those defining themselves as gay – is about right.”
More bollox form Samuel and his made up statistics to validate his self disgust.
Did he put his thumb in the air and try to guess?
Or does he have any evidence to back up his opinion?
Evidence is not a very necessary element to the opinions of Samuel B, Stu.
Just to act yet again as Devil’s advocate here. let’s just say homosexuality IS an “aberration” – So too is something like, say, Down’s Syndrome.
Would this man marginalise those people that have both physical and mental disabilities coupled with a shortened lifespan simply because they weren’t “the norm”?
Would these people be given any less a chance at enjoying the quality of life as well as all the choices and responsibilities everybody else has?
If his answer is ‘Yes’, it shows just how out of touch he is with what LGBT people really are, and if ‘No’, then the man is quite obviously a sociopathic monster that is in the wrong line of work and should never be published again.
His argument would be that we have a choice.
Which we don’t, obviously. We might have a choice to not have sex, but why would we do that?! Because us having sex offends him? Boohoo.
‘…Because us having sex offends him..’
why should it? its not like we do it outside his bedroom window
Just the very thought of it is bad enough, apparently!
I personally don’t like the thought of smelly people having sex.
So, guess what? I don’t think about it very much.
[Although I did just think about it now :( ]
Self Projection again.
Perhaps a good bath would help you.
Having blue eyes is an aberration too (speaking globally), but I notice it’s never referred to in that way, oddly enough!
Arguably being an Etonian is an aberration – I am fairly sure that Boot will not be as antagonistic about that aberration.
True, but it’s a matter of choice (and money), unlike the other aberrations we’re talking about.
if everyone was a y-chromosome, has-a-penis man. the species WOULD die out. therefore being a cissexual man is wrong.
What is this misspelt and unpunctuated rubbish actually about, please?
“Mr Boot writes that if everyone were gay, it would “spell the end of the human race” ”
…er…only if noone decided to have children…
…the glaring holes in the logic of some of these so-called intelligent people truly beggars belief…(its like stupidity got married to ignorance and threw a party celebrating hearsay’s unintelligent son’s birthday where all the lightbulbs blew…!)
…dimmer than Jack McDimmyPants…
The article appears to have been taken down from his rancid little corner of foul Daily Mail website.
It does appear to have disappered . . .
Should we celebrate?
Hopefully, even the Hate Mail has realised it’s too extreme, even by its own despicable standards.
It’s because they’re scared of a backlash. Nothing but cowards but then they’re the perpetrators of yellow journalism, notorious in fact.
Since the major part of world problems are caused through overpopulation- it would be better if there were MORE gay people.
I will kill people like him. I’ve had enough of justifying my existence.
I think you should take a chill pill – there’s enough hatred in the world without you adding to it…
I think it in poor taste for the Mail to publish it but if you read it there is no reason for it to censored.
Naturally it is offensive, but:
a)He is deliberately winding people up to make a martyr of himself, much like the bus ad people and,
b) He has been astute enough to word it so that it is merely a statement of opinion, not incitement to hatred, in fact, quite the opposite.
We can’t have it both ways; however abhorrent, and indeed aberrant it may be, he is entitled to voice his opinion.
There are certain statements of “fact”, which are either “mistakes”, or just plain lies. See below.
The Mail is the denizen of poor taste, always has been, always will be. It’s not even a decent “newspaper”, nothing more than yellow journalism of the worst kind that has tarnished British journalism around the world and so has the Telegraph. Both cater to low-information readers and their bigotry and they will take an article and skew it to it’s own preferences even if it means lying and spreading false information to score points. Both are rags not even fit to wrap fish and chips in.
Someone should write to the NUJ too – its against their Code to be homophobic or to spread disinformation/untruths
Though writing crap doesnt seem to be, or the Mail and Telegraph would have to fold.
I read the article on the man’s blog as it is no longer available on the Mail Online.
I note that he says he actually lives in France, but claims that Soviet Russia was th first country to liberalise homosexuality. In fact France, where he lives, was the first to decriminalise, so far as I’m aware, in 1792 I believe. I’m sure there were many other countries in the 19th century also. There’s a timeline on wiki.
There are many falsehoods in this homophobic article. Of course it should be challenged.
@Samuel – This is bollocks
I read this article, sorry, ramblings of a madman, yesterday and the amount of overt homophobia is just appalling. Shame on the Daily Mail for publishing this in the first place. Yet the fact that this silly old man has resorted to making up ‘facts’, i.e that only 1% of the population is gay so this must mean gay people have no rights or whatever, just shows how pathetic and immature he is and that people like him can only resort to bullying and hate speeches like this because they have no rational or sane argument against homosexuality or equal marriage.
I feel sorry for this sad, bitter and disgraceful old man. I actually feel more sorry for the Daily Mail and I hope the people in charge there open their eyes and realise that it’s writing and publishing hate speeches like this that is influencing the bullying, abuse and attacks aimed towards LGBT people, who are only different from them in the tiniest of ways.
The human race would probably end if everyone were a builder or a hairdresser. Does he dislike these also.
The human race would definitely end if everyone was infertile. Does he object to these people?
In fact if everyone were the same, in most respects, then the human race would be in trouble.
People seem to forget that the bible says that judging another is a sin on par with homosexuality. Its in Romans, directly after talking about how homosexuals are evil.
Pick and choose much?
The right wing press will always look for minorities to demonise. Free speech is a lovely idea but as many commentators on these pages have pointed out, we do not have free speech. While other minority groups are protected in law against public insult, we will be the natural target if we do not have similar protections.
I was going to complain about this article but thought I’d better read it on the mail site first. It is no longer there (unless PN got the URL wrong).
Could be that so much education could have passed you by?
Are you deeply irrational and deluded?
Or are you fearful of homosexual inclinations which you recognise in yourself?
Your article is simply fatuous.
I cannot be bothered to run through for you here the many utterly ridiculous statements you have made in it, but one statement stands out as more irrational than all of the rest, and that is that you imply that tolerance and acceptance of the reality of homosexuality will lead to the demise of the human race.
Please try hard to understand that no one can force homosexuality on anyone. The only people who ARE homosexual are those who ARE homosexual by nature. Others may dabble a little in homosexual relationships, just as homosexuals may dabble a little in heterosexual relationships. But heterosexuals will always massively outnumber homosexuals. This has always been the way of nature and it remain so.
Boot needs to go back to Russia, where he came from. It’s full of individuals like him, delusional and worshipping a god, and stuck in the medieval past.
By the way, my letter to his Contact page was carefully revised and does not contain the typos as in the above shortened version. I wrote at greater length on his Contact page.
His biography is revealing. He’s a self-important delusional, a Jeremiah and a nay-sayer.
I seem to remember this occuring around the time th Daily Mail ran a Comment piece about Stephen Gately. The complaint was not upheld.
I have taken a look in the PCC Archives and it was not upheld, becasue it was a comment.
It was not upheld because the PCC are (and were) a toothless wonder.
Just look at any of the evidence presented to Leveson about the PCC, and its crystal clear that the PCC lacked the moral fibre or willingness to hold newspapers to account in the vast majority of cases.
Paul Dacre as chair of the PCC meant The Mail was much less likely to ever be held to account.
Press Complaints Commission – the industry self-regulatory body charged with upholding standards of accuracy and integrity in the press. The body’s head, Lady Buscombe, has announced her departure next January; and leaders of all three main political parties now favour its dissolution. The PCC has been called a “toothless poodle” of the press (Ed Miliband); “ineffective”, “lacking in rigour” and not “truly independent”(David Cameron); “absolutely ludicrous” and “run by the media, for the media” (Nick Clegg).
Some investigations by the PCC have been described by Commons select committees as “simplistic, surprising and a
further failure of self-regulation”
Max Hastings said: “some British newspapers flourish on habitual indifference as to whether what they print might be true or not. And the editors of such titles are invited to take their turns as members of the PCC”
The PCC rejected 90.2% of all complaints on technical grounds without investigation. Of the 28,227 complaints received by the commission over ten years, 197 were upheld by a PCC adjudication: (0.69%)
When it does rule, a standard response is to reclassify unambiguous statements of fact as subjective “views”. Calling climate scientists “mendacious” was “clearly recognisable as a writer’s “subjective opinion”. Citing bogus “discoveries” was simply “highlighting” a person’s “views”. The words “the fact is” prefacing a summary of (alleged) research findings, was merely “comment”: a “columnist present[ing] her particular views”. And when the Mail’s Jan Moir penned a homophobic smear on the late Stephen Gateley, her stark factual
misrepresentations went unmentioned.
There is more than sufficient reason to disregard any ruling from the toothless wonder that is the PCC – due to their bias and failing to serve the public – instead being controlled by newspapers.
Over 25,000 people complained to the PPC over the article, claiming that it was homophobic and slanderous. The article went on to compare Gately’s death to the suicide of Kevin McGee, and claimed that it “strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships”.
The PCC’s adjudication states that can understand how the article would upset people, but claims that the newspaper has a right to publish unpalatable and offensive opinion. It recognises Andrew Cowles’ distress over the publication of the article. The overall argument of the ajudication however is that “robust opinion sparks vigorous debate”, and that the reaction generated by the article was a “testament to freedom of expression”. It also stated that the column was clearly labelled as Moir’s opinion rather than a factual piece.
I wouldn’t want for a minute to suggest that every article which might upset a gay man should be censored, but I feel that Moir’s column was a vitrolic, homophobic assault, full of
insinuation and allegation – not only without evidence, but in direct contrast to all evidence available on the death. It was published the day before Gately’s funeral. There is literally nothing to the article – it consists of facts previously in the public domain, homophobic assertions about Gately’s death, and an illogical comparison with McGee’s suicide to criticise civil partnerships in general.
If the article had been about the death of a black man married to a white woman, had made the same spurious allegations, and had drawn comparisons to a recent suicide to criticise interracial marriages, I very much doubt it would have been printed.
Had Moir’s comments been made in the average workplace to a colleague who had complained, would she have been let off the hook?
This adjudication gets to the heart of the role of the Press Complaints Commission, as has been discussed on this site for some time. Should the PCC have ignored 25,000 complaints just because they didn’t come from
people directly affected by Gately’s death? The majority of people seem to think not.
Is Moir’s article not homophobic because it merely has an “underlying tone of negativity” towards people on the grounds of their sexuality, without using directly perjorative or prejudicial language? I don’t think any reasonable person would conclude that.
Is there a problem with Jan Moir’s boss being head of the Press Complaints Commission rather than it being an independent body? Does the fact that it’s an “opinion” piece mean that such homophobia is acceptable?
I’ll re-state that I think that it’s important for people to be able to debate matters of sexuality, and that they should have the freedom to do so – but Moir’s column was homophobic trash, devoid of journalistic merit, which hurled unjustified slurs on Gately, deeply upsetting his partner on the day before the funeral. It may count as an opinion, but the only debate it provoked was over Moir’s homophobia itself, rather than the wider
picture of same-sex relationships or civil partnerships – and now over the toothless Press Complaints Commission and the pressure for reform.
The Daily Mail article is ignorant and homophobic. But it doesn’t compare with the disgusting homophobic comments regularly posted under Daily Telegraph online articles by a rag-bag of religious bigots, fascists and other assorted homophobes. I have been keeping my eye on these DT readers’ comment blogs, with posts referring to homosexuality as a ‘perversion,’ to gays as ‘disgusting,’ as well as people relishing and joking about the thought of us being murdered by being thrown off cliffs and in other ways by extremist ‘Moslem’ fundamentalists, assertions that it is a ‘well-known fact’ that most gay people suffer from intestinal worms as a result of oral sex, that we are child molesters, and many other extremely offensive comments, some of which are left intact by the moderators.
One of the most recent DT articles is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9201095/Boris-Johnson-bans-gay-cure-bus-adverts.html#disqus_thread
Ahaha! It’s the Mail! What do you expect from right wing toilet paper? It’s not worth the upset. Read the Guardian/Independant…much better!
Abolish the PCC. It has no authority, and is an excuse for partisan editors to pick up an extra salary. If it really were any good, there would have been no need for Leveson
These are not journalists ?
They are boring hacks – not worth paying attention to.
Time for Britian to get over the addiction to tabloids.
I shall NOT be complaining about this ridiculous and inaccurate article because I believe that free speech is fundamental, inallienable and must be interpreted as an absolute that rules out nothing but incitement to violence. I do not believe that I have, nor do I want, a right not to be offended. We have seen where such a ridiculous right got Mrs. Wolf in Austria – the truth is no defence so she was found guilty anyway – and we are seeing the ridiculous silencing of journalistic freedom in Denmark under their nororious and patently undemocratic Law No. 266b, which is currently being used to criminalise the head of the Danish Free Press Society and which contains within itself the statement that even if what you have said is true that is still not a defence if someone was offended or [worse] theoretically could have been offended.
It seems to me that many in the UK would love to see a law like that over here and that is why I support absolute free speech and the rights of Mr. Boot.
Should lying propaganda against minorities be banned? Defamation is illegal in most places.
No. Minorities, especially those who have already won their rights, should develop a thick skin and protect free speech. Everybody is a member of some minority or other but refusing to let people speak – even if you find what they say to be repulsive – is not the answer. It is, however, one of the first steps towards dictatorship.
This sort of insidious propaganda is worthy of Geobels and may I remind you that children and young people are dying on our streets in violent attacks and killing themselves as a result of this kind of subtle negative stereotyping and propaganda .
And your answer to people killing themselves is to shut down free speech! Shutting down free speech won’t stop the whispering campaigns that would then arise and living in that sort of a world would be so much worse for the vulnerable.
Still, this is the PN Comments section and I should know better than to argue with the absolutist tendencies of the trendy lefties who live here and insult gays like me for believing in freedom and free speech – for not being trendy leftie, in fact.
Eh? Apart form paranoia, what on earth are you talking about?
Presumably he believes the right wing extremism of Boot is preferable that fairness and equality?
Author, critic, polemicist
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I add my complaint to your campaign.
Boot’s whole argument that is so incredibly stupid, and worse, very nasty. For example, his statement that “if everyone were gay, it would “spell the end of the human race”, therefore being gay is undesireble. And he’s using this nonsense, the best part of his article, to attack the validity of LGBT lives.
By his garbled reasoning, if everyone was male, that too would spell the end of the human race, therefore being male is undesireable.
Typically stupid of The Mail to publish this rubbish. Unfortunately, there are idiots and nutters like Anders Brevik, who’d take Boots blatherings as a justification for attacking gays and others.