9 ridiculous times the Daily Mail got upset about gay people in 2016
The Daily Mail is on fine form as ever when it comes to moral outrage, and as the world gets gayer, it seems like there’s more and more for them to get upset about.
As 2016 draws to a much-welcomed close, we look back at a small selection of the many, many, many times the Mail got into a tizz this year because of LGBT issues.
1. ‘Unsafe’ LGBT-themed traffic lights that were up for months without incident
In October, the newspaper ran a big splash on London traffic lights featuring little green gay couples instead of little green men.
The Mail claimed that the lights could be offensive and dangerous, and might lead to tourists wandering off to the right instead of crossing the road.
The problem? They were put up four months earlier for Pride in London… and it took the Mail that long to notice because there were zero reported issues.
2. Men hugging in public rather than going for a ‘manly pat on the back’
British divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears struck gold during the Olympics in August, taking the top spot in the synchronised 3m springboard.
Rather than celebrate the win, the Mail questioned why British divers hug each other rather than settling for a “manly pat on the back” like their Chinese counterparts.
The Mail ran the story online with the headline: “Steady on chaps! Britain’s victorious synchronised divers hug for joy after winning gold – while China’s bronze medallists settle for a manly pat on the back”.
3. Our April Fools story about Justin Trudeau stripping naked
On April 1, our special PinkNews April Fools correspondent ‘Fillop Rao’ published a joke story claiming that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to take part in a nude shoot for a gay magazine.
The April Fools story incredibly managed to make it onto the Mail’s website, which dutifully reported that “Canadian PM Justin Trudeau plans to bare all for gay magazine”.
The Mail even faithfully recounted our fake quote from a source close to David Cameron alleging that he “could do more for the public good by keeping his clothes on”.
4. A judge who is an openly gay ex-Olympic fencer
The Mail’s most famous strop of the year came after the High Court ruled that the UK government must consult Parliament on plans to leave the European Union.
The pro-Brexit newspaper ran a profile on the “three judges who blocked Brexit”, running with the title: “The judges who blocked Brexit: One who founded a EUROPEAN law group, another charged the taxpayer millions for advice, and the third is an openly gay ex-Olympic fencer”.
The “openly gay ex-Olympic fencer” in the headline refers to Sir Terence Etherton, the country’s second-most senior judge, who has more than four decades of legal experience.
5. Drugs to prevent HIV that could save million of pounds
The newspaper was obviously not happy with plans to make HIV-preventing drugs available to gay men on the NHS, to tackle HIV transmission among at-risk groups.
Experts say rolling out the drugs will be cost-effective if they lead to even a small reduction in HIV infections, as just one HIV infection has an average lifetime cost of £380,000.
Running with a front-page story, the newspaper claimed the pills are a “lifestyle drug” that represent a “skewed sense of values” and “encourage” risky sexual behaviour.
The Mail claimed people would be denied cataract surgery due to the cost of the service, even though no cost-effectiveness assessment of the drug had been carried out.
6. Completely fake claims that a terror attack was carried out by a ‘militant gay activist’
In September, New York was attacked with two pressure cooker bombs, which detonated in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, injuring 29.
MailOnline rushed to report the existence of a completely unverified Tumblr blog they claimed was written by the bomber, describing them as a militant gay activist.
The hoax blog claimed: “I did it because I cannot stand society. I cannot live in a world where homosexuals like myself as well as the rest of the LGBTQ+ community are looked down upon by society.”
The FBI immediately confirmed the blog was a fake.
7. A kids’ TV show featuring transgender children
The Mail on Sunday ran another front-page attack (seriously guys, do you not have any other news?) on CBBC children’s show Just a Girl, an online educational resource that shows 11-year-old Amy on her journey to begin living as female.
The newspaper claimed the show was “‘sowing the seeds of confusion” into young viewers’ minds and encouraging children to get “sex changes” – even though under-18s do not receive hormones or gender surgery in the UK.
The newspaper inaccurately described the show as a “programme about a schoolboy who takes sex-change drugs.”
8. Stephen Fry being married to a man
Two years on from the first same-sex weddings in the UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Mail would be past it by now.
But the Mail couldn’t help but refer to his union with Elliott Spencer in inverted commas earlier this year.
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A nib in the newspaper read: “Stephen Fry is to move to LA with his ‘husband’, aspiring comedian Elliott Spencer, 28.”
9. The National Trust acknowledging gay people have always existed
A late entrant on this list, in December the National Trust announced it will mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales next year, with a range of events exploring Britain’s LGBT history.
Obviously, the news has not gone down well with the Daily Mail, with right-wing columnist James Delingpole lamenting that he had already cancelled his National Trust membership so can’t cancel it again.
He wrote: “You can only resign in disgust once — or I’d definitely be doing it again.”
The columnist claimed there was a “degree of irony about the Trust’s latest plan”, because one of the leaders of the organisation in the 1930s was “waspish about homosexual behaviour”.
The claim is slightly strange, given what the Daily Mail was busy doing in the 1930s.