Call to complain over ‘startlingly homophobic’ Daily Mail column

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Thousands of people have been asked to complain about a ‘startlingly homophobic’ opinion piece published on the Daily Mail’s Mail Online website as part of a Facebook campaign.

Alexander Boot’s article, originally published on his personal blog and reprinted by the Daily Mail as ‘Homosexuality IS a departure from the norm: We must beware of our civilisation being battered by the PC brigade’, has been “infested with logical fallacies and factual errors”, the page claims.

279 signed up to organiser Stephen Donnelly’s message that the “startlingly homophobic” piece is “hardly acceptable as a piece of mainstream journalism” and plea to report it to the Press Complaints Commission.

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 notes 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 writes 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.

In a Kantian examination which he accepts involves “reductio ad absurdum”, Mr Boot writes 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 writes, “be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies”, equating homosexuality with kleptomania and physical violence.

He adds: “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 says Boris Johnson is 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 adds: “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 says it believes the article to have 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 had not responded to at the time of publication.