Online outrage over columnist’s article

A CONTROVERSIAL article in yesterday’s British Daily Mail by columnist Jan Moir, entitled ‘‘Why there was nothing ‘natural’ about Stephen Gately’s death’’, has provoked outrage by his fans across social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

Hundred of people have posted Tweets expressing anger and revulsion at Moir’s article, which seemed to link Gately’s death to his gay lifestyle.

Celebrity tweeter Stephen Fry described the article as “loathsome and inhumane”.

The British actor, who has almost 850,000 followers on Twitter said: “I gather a repulsive nobody writing in a paper no one of any decency would be seen dead with has written something loathsome and inhumane.”

Moir defended her opinion piece, which was not published in the Irish edition of the paper, claiming she was the victim of “a heavily orchestrated internet campaign” after companies pulled advertising from the website page featuring the article.

The British Press Complaints Commission got more than 1,000 complaints yesterday, causing its website to crash.

In the article, Moir said: “If we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy.”

She also argues that the tragedy “strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships”.

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