Writer and editor defend “pertinent” Nazi comparison column

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The writer of the article which compared gay rights victories to pre-World War 2 Nazi advances has defended his statements, saying they did not apply to “ordinary gay people”.

Alan Craig, the leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance told the Guardian yesterday that he had distinguished between the leaders of gay rights groups and other members of the gay community.

“I’ve nothing against ordinary gay people but the leadership, well I stick by my word Gaystapo. It is bullying. I oppose bullying and hatred in all its forms.

“There is no justification for the bullying or intimidation of gays and that has been rectified in law, but we’ve moved on to a new game. We’re now seeing these attitudes of intolerance they accuse their opponents of.”

Craig did not identify any leading gay rights activists by name in the article, but linked to a series of news stories about recent events affecting gay life in Britain.

He said the leadership: “want to change our language, manipulate our culture and thereby impose their world-view on us all. Cultural domination is their aim and fascist-type intolerance of politically-incorrect dissent is their weapon”.

An investigation by Patrick Strudwick, a journalist who published exposés on the use of gay conversion therapies that claim to turn gay people straight, was listed by Craig as an example of the work of the “Gaystapo”.

He was likened to a Nazi storm trooper and the subject of the investigation, psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington, described as being “crushed under the pink jackboot”.

Strudwick said: “Alan Craig’s comments are the low, libellous point in a very worrying recent backlash against gay equality in which commentators and public figures routinely describe those lobbying for the rights of gay people as ‘militant’, ‘McCarthyite’ ‘bullies’.

“He refers in his column to my case bringing a therapist to account for trying to turn gay people straight. My side of this case is the very antithesis of fundamentalism, extremism or fascism. Instead I am trying to prevent others imposing their extremist views on vulnerable people.

“Anyone with even a vague grasp of logic can see Mr Craig has detached from reality and is instead peddling the kind of paranoid rhetoric that incites hate against LGBT people.”

The editor of the Church of England Newspaper, Colin Blakely, said Craig “has got views that are pertinent on this issue”.

“I was on holiday that week and if I had seen it I would have asked him to tone the language down somewhat. We’re getting a lot of correspondence on this column. He has not won a lot of support with readers and we’re publishing letters.

“We want people to engage with the issue.”