I have been in some General election and Scottish election planning meetings all day today so was catching up on Twitter as waiting for the bus home from the city centre and saw that Jan Moir was being attacked for her column today.
So, I saw on Caron's blog that as usual homophobia was alive and well in the Daily Mail in the form of a column by Jan Moir and that during the course of the day online advertising had been removed from the site, such is the power of the internet these days.
Anyway, unlike a lot of my friends and colleagues on the web I am going to link to it because people need to read this crap that the Mail's columnists get paid to write and hopefully they will stop buying it because of articles such as this.
Surely, Stephen Gately's family, partner, friends and fellow Boyzone members deserve some time to grieve and therefore as a mark of respect Jan Moir should have kept her trap shut, we don't all need to know her opinion, her poisoned thoughts and innuendo and implication rather than basing her column on fact.
She says; "Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one." What makes her think this? Just a feeling or a hunch, certainly not fact unless all of a sudden she has become a first class doctor.
She goes onto say; "Another real sadness about Gately's death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships."
What myth is this she speaks of? I am sorry, but marriages don't last forever either so what exactly is her point? No people I know who have had a civil partnership have claimed it is going to be happy ever after, but like any relationship you have to work at it. I have been with my partner for 16 years and we have not had a civil partnership, yet, my only regret about not having had it yet is that my Mum won't be there to see it.
Then earlier this evening Jan Moir has bitten back against the backlash she has received since the article came out, she makes some points in the piece such as the point above about the happy ever after myth of civil partnerships, in the statement she says that they have proved to be as problematic as marriages - but Jan Moir you didn't say that in your original article, you cannot whinge afterwards if you couldn't be bothered to put it in the original.
The original piece has generated some 1,000+ complaints to the Press Complaints Commission, To read Moir's full statement, see below;
Some people, particularly in the gay community, have been upset by my article about the sad death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately. This was never my intention. Stephen, as I pointed out in the article was a charming and sweet man who entertained millions.
However, the point of my column – which I wonder how many of the people complaining have fully read – was to suggest that, in my honest opinion, his death raises many unanswered questions. That was all. Yes, anyone can die at anytime of anything. However, it seems unlikely to me that what took place in the hours immediately preceding Gately’s death – out all evening at a nightclub, taking illegal substances, bringing a stranger back to the flat, getting intimate with that stranger – did not have a bearing on his death. At the very least, it could have exacerbated an underlying medical condition.
The entire matter of his sudden death seemed to have been handled with undue haste when lessons could have been learned. On this subject, one very important point. When I wrote that ‘he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine’, I was referring to the drugs and the casual invitation extended to a stranger. Not to the fact of his homosexuality. In writing that ‘it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships’ I was suggesting that civil partnerships – the introduction of which I am on the record in supporting – have proved just to be as problematic as marriages.
In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones.
Well Jan Moir, I did read your original article, three times in fact and I am afraid your choice of words and language leave me in no doubt that you were trying to whip up hysteria, with homophobic comments and innuendo.
I hope Stephen's partner, friends and family can bury Stephen and grieve in private knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of us with them in spirit - gay, straight, bi and those who have no idea.
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