Current Affairs

‘Startlingly homophobic’ Daily Mail column removed

Edmund Broch April 16, 2012
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An article on Mail Online by Alexander Boot, described as being ‘startlingly homophobic,’ has been removed from the website without any explanation following a Facebook campaign.

The Facebook page set up to opposte Mr Boot’s article, first published on his personal blog and then reprinted by Mail Online, the online version of the Daily Mail, was launched by Stephen Donnelly, who said that it was “hardly acceptable as a piece of mainstream journalism.” He also urged people to report it to the Press Complaints Commission.

The article was titled ‘Homosexuality IS a departure from the norm: We must beware of our civilisation being battered by the PC brigade’, and was “infested with logical fallacies and factual errors”, the page said.

Mr Boot was writing after Mayor Boris Johnson intervened to ensure 26 bus adverts funded by religious groups and ex-gay therapy advocates Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust reading ‘Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!’ would not be seen ahead this week.

Writing that the campaign was aimed at “reforming homosexuals” in a city “so tolerant it could be twinned with Sodom”, Mr Boot noted that “blatant propaganda of homosexuality” had been acceptable in the form of Stonewall’s original ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’ messages.

While acknowledging it was “probably correct” that people are born gay and it is “irreversible”, a view shared by the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists among others, Mr Boot said that while homosexuality may not be a “disease”, it is an “aberration”.

Aberrations, he writes, are “a departure from what is normal or desirable”, claiming that 1 percent of the population is gay. Mr Boot wrote that if everyone were gay, it would “spell the end of the human race”, and it is therefore undesirable.

While gays should not be reproached or punished, they can, Mr Boot wrote, “be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies”, equating homosexuality with kleptomania and physical violence.

He wrote: “Abstaining from sex for moral reasons is tantamount to heroism, and most people can’t be expected to be heroes. That’s why I don’t think homosexuality should be banned, or homosexuals in any way abused.” But he claims “Christianity would be remiss” if it did not ask gay people to try.

With religion having been “smashed by the battering ram of PC modernity”, Mr Boot said Boris Johnson was denying “the right of free speech to a constructive campaign asking homosexuals to reform and suggesting it’s possible – while affording this freedom to a [Stonewall] campaign that’s utterly deterministic and destructive.”

He added: “For freedom of speech to mean anything at all, it ought to cover the freedom to say things we don’t like. After all, allowing only those statements that please us involves no hardship at all.”

The Facebook page calling for complaints said it believed the article violated: “Clause 1(i) in its inclusion of false statistics (claims 1% of the population are LGBT, when the figure is approximately 6%) and Clause 12(i) in its making of pejorative comments about the sexuality of an individual (if you as an individual self-define as LGB, the article is condemning YOUR sexuality, and as an individual you can complain).”

The Mail Online could not be reached for an explanation as to why the article was removed without any notice. The article can still be read on Mr Boot’s personal website.

More: alexander boot, daily mail, marriage equality

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