So a gay boy band member dies after he and his partner bring a stranger back to their hotel room and, without knowing the precise details of the incident, a columnist for the Daily Mail comments. In her piece she implies that the singer’s lifestyle, involving what she implies is promiscuous homosexuality, is responsible for his death, along with the most-quoted line in the piece about this story destroying the myth that gay civil unions work. So, people get outraged, and send over 20,000 letters of complaint to a government body. Welcome aboard the latest bandwagon. Response to a comment on W&T:



I share your dislike of the manner with which our society jumps on bandwagons of outrage with each news cycle, from subject to subject and person making news to person making news. It is indicative of a lack of freethinking, not an evolved and tolerant appreciation of individuality.

I did detect some homophobia in the Moir article, but also a general disapproval of anything other than a traditional understanding of sexuality (heterosexual monogamy), of which the homophobia is probably merely a derivative. She certainly didn’t sound prejudiced toward gay people, though judgmental of homosexual civil unions.

My main response is, ‘Who cares?’ Why does it provoke outrage? Isn’t what Moir appears to believe fairly common? Why, then, should we be surprised or outraged when the views are aired? And of course you are right to suggest that we are in grave danger of threatening freedom of speech with these overreactions to every opinion that doesn’t reflect a progressive approach. Sure, say she’s wrong, but:

1) Don’t involve government bodies with the power to censor;
2) Don’t act as though she’s saying something unusual;
3) Don’t respond as though her opinion is universally regarded morally inferior.

It’s also counterproductive. When I hear the shrill shrieks of a rolling bandwagon on the horizon, my reaction is to run the other way. This is not to say that we shouldn’t speak up when someone says something with which we disagree. That, too, is the exercise of freedom of speech. But the appalling menace presented by this collective, selective, hysterical outrage – born of a paranoid wish to remain politically correct – is the greatest threat to real freedom of speech that exists.