Southbank Centre and Center Parcs axe Daily Mail ads after ‘homophobic’ Tom Daley column

Several advertisers have vowed to stop funding the Daily Mail – after it published a “homophobic” column targeting dads-to-be Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black.

The newspaper published the shocking column from Richard Littlejohn today after Tom Daley, 23, and his Oscar-winning husband, 43, announced they were expecting a child.

It is believed the pair are using a surrogate, whose identity is being kept private.

Littlejohn published a column today insisting that gay parenting is “not normal”, including the line “pass the sick bag”.

He continued: “Despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman.

“Which is precisely what worries me most about the Daley publicity stunt. Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby.

“But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely.”

The columnist proceeded to claim the announcement made him want to vomit.

The piece has led several advertisers to cut ties with the newspaper.

London’s Southbank Centre confirmed it had dropped ads after facing pressure from the group ‘Stop Funding Hate’.

It confirmed on Twitter: “Southbank Centre reaches out to audiences through wide-ranging online and offline media titles, across the political spectrum.

“We monitor the environment in which our advertising appears, to ensure the values of a publication are compatible with our own. We have no future plans to advertise within the Daily Mail.”

Center Parcs wrote: “We take where we advertise very seriously and have a number of steps to prevent our advertising from appearing alongside inappropriate content.

“We felt this placement was completely unacceptable and therefore ceased advertising with the Daily Mail with immediate effect.”

Quorn, which sells vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes, also confirmed it had ceased advertising.

Stonewall’s Jeff Ingold said: “It was stunning to see the amount of abuse directed at the recently married couple.

“Death threats were made and whole threads used the news to question whether same-sex people were morally capable of having a family. If it provoked surprise from many quarters it shouldn’t: homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic abuse is all too common online. One in ten LGBT people have experienced anti-LGBT abuse online directed towards them personally in the last month.

“Even more alarming was the national newspaper carrying a headline asserting that we shouldn’t ‘pretend two dads is the new normal’ and making the case that ‘children benefit most from being raised by a man and woman’. It’s deeply depressing that we’re still even having this conversation. Being a good parent has nothing to do with sexual orientation or whether a child has two mums or two dads.

“The important thing is for a child to have a loving family, no matter who makes it up.

“This reaction to Tom and Dustin’s baby news should be a wakeup call to all LGBT people and allies. It shows just how fragile the equality we think we’ve gained can be. We cannot afford to be complacent about the progress we’ve made because it’s not necessarily permanent. We need to be vigilant about our rights and vocal in defence of them – at home and abroad.”
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He added: “We need to come together as allies for each other whenever we see hatred directed at people because of who they are, both within the LGBT community and outside it.

“Social media and online platforms should make clear that abuse is unacceptable and promote their reporting tools. Everyone should come out and show their support to those who have been targeted, so they know they’re not alone.

“We know that most people don’t share the horrible views that have had a national airing because (shock horror) a committed, loving couple are having a baby. We can’t let that hate win. Now more than ever we need to work together, so that everyone’s rights are respected and we can be proud to live in a society that accepts everyone, without exception.”