York newspaper apologises for printing homophobic reader’s letter
A newspaper in York has apologised for printing a reader’s letter that claimed Pride promotes “dangerous behaviour”.
The letter, printed in the York Press newspaper, said: “So called ‘gays’ are apparently planning another summer of bizarre ‘Pride’ activities around our city.
“Their childish parades and stunts seem to promote immoral, irresponsible and dangerous behaviour. They are also an unnecessary nuisance.”
The letter, signed ‘Alexander Ogilvy’, comes after the head of anti-LGBT charity Christian Concern criticized York Minster for ‘blessing’ the city’s Pride last year.
The newspaper has since withdrawn the letter.
A statement said: “The Press would like to apologise to any readers who were offended by the publication of a letter in yesterday’s edition regarding York Pride’s planned events.
“This letter should not have been published and we are disappointed that it slipped through our normally very stringent editing processes.
“We would like to remind readers that the views expressed in published letters are entirely those of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of this newspaper.
“The letter has been removed from our website.”
It also published some of the complaints sent by readers, noting their “strong response”.
One reader suggested: “If Mr Ogilvy would rather live in a city where people share his views of such ‘bizarre’, ‘immoral’ and ‘childish’ practices, I suggest he takes up Mr Putin’s very generous offer of 2.5 acres of land and emigrates to Russia. I hear Vladivostok is nice this time of year.”
York Pride responded: “With regards to Mr. Ogilvy’s comments, we would just like to say that we do not promote ‘childish’ nor ‘immoral, irresponsible’ behaviour.
“Pride is a celebration of LGBT life in a colourful and vibrant, but also safe and family-friendly manner. It provides one day a year where people can be free to express themselves authentically, and given Christian Concern’s and Mr. Oglivy’s comments, I think they completely show why Pride is still actually necessary.
“We want to show that York is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the UK, and we will continue to do so as long as there is a need for it.’”