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Advertisers Drop Daily Mail After Homophobic Column About Tom Daley Baby News

Writer Richard Littlejohn called the Olympic diver's announcement a "publicity stunt."

A Daily Mail columnist is under fire for lambasting Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black’s Wednesday baby announcement that featured a sonogram photo.

In writer Richard Littlejohn’s article, which bore the title “Please Don’t Pretend Two Dads Is The New Normal,” he asked readers to “pass the sick bag” and blasted the couple’s news as a “publicity stunt.” 

“Here we have two men drawing attention to the fact that ‘they’ are having a baby,” he wrote. “But where’s the mum, the possessor of the womb which features in this photograph? She appears to have been written out of the script entirely.” 

A post shared by Tom Daley (@tomdaley) on

Littlejohn, who is known for his conservative views, attempted to preface his remarks by claiming he wasn’t homophobic — “I supported civil partnerships long before it was fashionable,” he said — but also wrote that he believed children “benefit most” from being brought up by a heterosexual couple.

“No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can’t make excellent parents,” Littlejohn wrote. “But nor is everyone comfortable with the trend towards treating women as mere breeding machines and babies as commodities.”

The writer, who has also written for London Evening Standard, didn’t stop there.

Later in the same article, he attacked a transgender woman who reportedly made history this week when she successfully breastfed her child. He concluded the article with one final dig at Daley, noting that he’s looking forward to seeing photos of the British Olympic diver “breastfeeding his new baby.” 

On Friday, GLAAD condemned the remarks, calling on advertisers to pull their ads from the Daily Mail for publishing the column.

“This hateful discourse should never be normalized or sanctioned by businesses who expect LGBTQ people and our allies to use their products and services,” Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s vice president of programs, wrote in a Friday blog post. “We call on these companies to take a stand against the outdated arguments and vile homophobia and transphobia expressed in this column, and put their money where their mouths are by pulling their ads, and supporting LGBTQ people.”

A number of high-profile companies, including London’s Southbank Centre and Center Parcs, announced on Twitter they’d already nixed their partnerships with the Daily Mail over the article. 

Quorn, which specializes in vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes, confirmed that their ad, which appeared alongside the online version of Littlejohn’s article, had been removed at their request. 

Unfortunately, Littlejohn’s remarks aren’t particularly surprising given his history. In July 2017, he sparked controversy for a lengthy piece on a British naval officer who had spoken out against President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban transgender recruits from the U.S. military. 

“The term ‘trans’ is meaningless, ever since it was stretched to apply to anyone who chooses to identify as the opposite sex, or indeed no sex at all,” he wrote at the time. “That’s fine by me. But don’t expect society always to go along with the ever more absurd demands of the obsessive gender lobby.”

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