An article in the LGBT news outlet PinkNews that said Twitter users were calling Prince George a “gay icon” has been branded as “sick” by a politician in Northern Ireland.
The online article, “People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo,” was published after the four-year-old prince was photographed with his hands on his face in a helicopter in Germany last month.
PinkNews says the article was merely reporting on a large volume of social media posts and was not calling Prince George a ‘gay icon’ itself.
Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party in Northern Ireland, described the article as “outrageous and sick.” He called on PinkNews to immediately withdraw the “misjudged” article and apologize.
“Sexualizing a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate. 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 fantasize of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.”
Prince George is definitely going to be gay 👌🏻
— Mark Jolley (@MrMarkJolley) July 22, 2017
The chief executive of PinkNews, Benjamin Cohen, told RT that he has received no letter from Allister and no official complaint has been made.
“I’m surprised that Jim Allister is such an avid reader of PinkNews that he spotted a minor article from three weeks ago to complain about today,” Cohen said.
“At no point did PinkNews state that Prince George is a ‘gay icon’ – the article merely reported on a large number of social media posts saying that he was. The article also explored what it means to be a gay icon and referenced other ‘gay icons’ such as the singer Ariana Grande.”
He added: “Mr Allister also appeared to claim that being gay is a ‘life defined by sex.’ This is an outrageous statement. I am gay and about to marry my fiance, something Allister opposes, and I can certainly say my life is not defined by sex.”
Cohen said Allister has strongly opposed LGBT rights in his political career. He opposed the decriminalization of homosexuality and was the only member of the Northern Irish Assembly to oppose pardons of gay men convicted of offences that would not be crimes today.
“Allister is not an impartial commentator on this issue. He is a person with a long history of opposing the rights of LGBT people,” Cohen said.
The article reads: “Prince George has become a gay icon overnight – at least, that’s what some people – sorry, his subjects – are saying on Twitter.
“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 image of the prince expressing his happiness in this way led many to declare their support of George for a whole new position: gay icon.”