Christian group calls for sacking of gay Winchester professor

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Christian pressure group has called on the University of Winchester to sack a gay professor over his views on sexuality.

Sport studies professor Eric Anderson, 46, says he has come under fire as part of a “sustained campaign” brought by opponents of gay rights.

The Times reports that the University’s vice-chancellor,  Joy Carter, this week received a letter from a Christian group calling itself ‘Because Children Matter’, urging her to sack the gay professor.

The group is outraged at comments he made at an Oxford University debate in 2011, when he revealed he had slept with “easily over a thousand people” and joked he was a sexual “predator”.

He said at the time: “I like sex with 16, 17, 18-year-old boys particularly, it’s getting harder for me to get them but I’m still finding them.

“I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand — that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem.”

He also branded then-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams a “bigot” and a “f**king liar”.

However, the University has defended the lecturer, saying he was “reprimanded” for the comments but remains “an internationally renowned gay scholar who publishes widely on sexualities, masculinities, sport and relationships”.

It continued: “The university will not tolerate any targeting of its members of staff on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

Eric Anderson – who is embroiled in a court case with gay marriage opponent David Skinner – said: “Statements I made during the course of that [Oxford] lecture were reported without context and it is these Mr Skinner and others are using to conduct a sustained campaign against me.

“I am a gay man engaged in academic research on sexualities. I believe that sex should only occur between consenting adults.

“In 2011, I signed a letter supporting academic research into paedophilia which I believe is essential in order to keep children safe.”