An article in the LGBT news outlet PinkNews that claimed Prince George had become a “gay icon” has been branded “sick” and sparked a complaint from a senior politician in Northern Ireland.
The online article was published after the four-year-old prince was photographed with his hands on his face in a helicopter in Germany last month.
Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party in Northern Ireland, described the article as “outrageous and sick.” He has written to PinkNews demanding it withdraw the article and apologize.
Prince George is definitely going to be gay ??
— Mark Jolley (@MrMarkJolley) July 22, 2017
He called on PinkNews to immediately withdraw the “misjudged” article and apologize.
“Sexualizing a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate,” he said.
“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,” the letter states.
“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.”
The chief executive of PinkNews, Benjamin Cohen, told the BBC he has “no intention” of removing the article at the behest of a politician who opposed the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
He defended the story, saying it was a “tongue-in-cheek” piece. He said the article did not state that the prince was a gay icon, but merely reported on a large volume of media posts saying that he was.
Cohen added that, as a gay man, he was personally offended by some of the “repugnant” remarks contained in Allister’s letter of complaint.
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.”