A Daily Mail columnist has compared opposing Stephen Fry’s engagement to another man with the Charlie Hebdo killings.
Tom Utley, a 61-year-old journalist, criticized other newspapers for not being as homophobic as he expected about the forthcoming nuptials of the gay QI host.
He said, as the father of a straight 27-year-old, he would be displeased if his son had announced he was going to marry the ‘gargantuan, shambling form of our national treasure, 57-year-old Stephen Fry’.
‘I confess that in their circumstances I would have had to draw on all my acting skills to put on even an unconvincing display of pleasure,’ Utley wrote.
‘For I’d be disingenuous to pretend I don’t also have difficulty in accepting the idea that a man can marry another man, or a woman a woman.’
He said while he supports civil partnerships, he understands marriage to be an ‘institution for child-rearing and mutual support between the sexes, which means the real thing can only be between a man and a woman.
‘Of course, you’re welcome to say that my views are Neanderthal and don’t matter a damn. But it is surely an incontrovertible fact that many millions share them.’
Utley criticized The Sun for treating the story exactly as an heterosexual engagement, claiming ‘most of us are simply terrified of the awesome power of the gay lobby to silence criticism’.
‘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?’ he questioned.
‘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?’
Twitter has reacted hilariously to the column.
I am "haunted" by the prospect that a child of mine might one day marry a descendent of Tom Utley’s. HAUNTED I TELL YA.
— Paul (@paulbestfit) January 16, 2015
— Ellena Vincent (@ellena_leigh) 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