An article on LGBT news site Pink News calling Prince George a “gay icon” has been criticised by the leader of the ultra-conservative Traditional Ulster Voice (TUV) party as “outrageous and sick.”
The article – entitled ‘People think Prince George looks fabulous in this photo’ appeared on the UK-based LGBT+ site last week, following the royals’ visit to Germany. The article focused on the online reaction to a series of press photos of the 4 year-old during his German trip.
Prince George is already a bigger gay icon to me than Boy George. pic.twitter.com/i1FM0jh4Vv
— Nathan Beard (@nathansbeard) July 21, 2017
Author Josh Jackman wrote: ‘Prince George has become a gay icon overnight.’
“The monarch-to-be has always been cute and well-dressed, but one day before his fourth birthday, a photo of him excitedly holding his face changed everything.”
The piece drew the ire of TUV leader Jim Allister, a barrister and former DUP member who holds a seat at Stormont for the North Antrim constituency.
“Sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate,” Allister said in a complaint to Pink News.
“In reality, the photo which prompted the piece shows a four-year-old boy who is smartly dressed and excited about being on a helicopter with his male father and female mother.
“To take an image of a little boy and to fantasise of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.”
Allister told the BBC that he would have referred his complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), but PinkNews had not signed up to its code of practice.
Benjamin Cohen, told BBC News NI he had “no intention” of removing the article at the urging of a politician who opposed the rights of LGBT+ people.
Cohen defended the “tongue-in-cheek” piece, saying it was based on the comments of “hundreds” of social media users.
He also stated that as a gay man, he was personally offended by some of the “repugnant” remarks contained in Allister’s letter of complaint.
He added that he was surprised “that Jim Allister is such an avid reader of PinkNews” that he could find the piece online, since it is over 3 weeks old and as such no longer appears on the homepage.
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