A Daily Mail columnist used Stephen Fry's recent engagement to a much younger man to make a point about how opposing gay marriage is akin to Charlie Hebdo's publication of satirical cartoons.
Tom Utley's piece criticizing the relationship between Fry, 57, and 27-year-old partner Elliott Spencer was published in the Daily Mail Thursday. Although Spencer's parents said they were "over the moon," Utley said he would not have a similar reaction if his son came home engaged to Fry. Among his reasons, he listed the dramatic age difference as well as his own "difficulty in accepting the idea that a man can marry another man, or a woman a woman."
He questioned why other publications had not criticized Fry's upcoming nuptials when the news was first revealed earlier this month, blaming the "awesome power of the gay lobby" for the silence. He advocated on behalf of such criticism, comparing it to the satirical French magazine's right to publish controversial cartoons about the pope, the Prophet Muhammad and political figures.
Of course, some may say this is a salutary development. But can it ever be truly healthy if newspapers don’t dare print thoughts harboured by millions — whether about mass immigration, benefits for single parents, gay marriage or anything else short of incitement to violence? One final question. This was the week celebrities and politicians from all over the free world linked arms in defence of a Paris magazine’s right to give gratuitous offence to Muslims. OK, nobody is going to shoot me. But how many of them, I wonder, would show the same solidarity with a paper that showed similar disrespect for Mr Fry’s nuptial arrangements?
Other British journalists took to Twitter to criticize Utley's homophobia.
Interesting piece from the Mail, criticising the Sun for not being homophobic enough about Stephen Fry's marriage: http://t.co/oGfTaK6bdB
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) January 16, 2015
The Daily Mail excels itself again. Tom Utley, what a vile piece of work.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) January 16, 2015
When a Daily Mail columnist went and wrote something bafflingly homophobic, I felt I had a duty to fake surprise...http://t.co/uaQ8TqyFP5
— Jon Laurence (@jonlaurence) January 16, 2015
On the subject of Tom Utley, here's the stupendous headline to one of his Mail columns in January 2013 pic.twitter.com/NlkDorIYMo
— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) January 16, 2015
The Daily Mail was not immediately available for comment.
H/T Gay Star News