Friday, 16 January 2015

Daily Mail: Neanderthal Man

I entreat you not to misunderstand me. It would break my heart if any son of mine felt I was such a bigot that he couldn’t tell me he was gay, or thought that I’d love him any the less for it. I’d also like it on record that I came round long ago to civil partnerships, and I’m a little ashamed of my initial opposition to them.

But as I understand marriage, it’s 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.

I strongly suspect, too, that some of my other objections to the Fry-Spencer match will have occurred to many, if not most, parents of 27-year-olds.

But here is the truly remarkable thing. In all the copious coverage of the engagement over the past eight days, I’ve detected only two raised eyebrows. One belonged to the Mail’s own, ever-brave Amanda Platell, who drew disapproving attention to the age-gap. The other was a throwaway line from our equally doughty Sarah Vine, who floated the idea that a part of Mr Fry’s appeal to his fiancé may lie in the latter’s showbiz connections.

But no other paper that I’ve read has suggested there’s anything otherwise remarkable about this forthcoming marriage — let alone anything iffy or rum. Nor has anyone attempted to exploit the story for comic potential — odd, surely, since both participants are comedians.

Even the Sun — notorious in the past for such headlines as ‘Pulpit poofters’ on a story about gay vicars — treated the story exactly as it would have done any heterosexual engagement, reporting: ‘Loved-up Stephen Fry is “deeply touched” by the response to our revelations yesterday that he plans to marry toy-boy lover Elliott Spencer.’

Textbook stuff, you Neanderthal hate-filled old bigot.

When people come out with crap like this, there really is nothing to say.

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