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Update: 21,000 complaints lodged against Jan Moir

As we reported on Friday, an op-ed piece by Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir regarding the death of Boyzone's Stephen Gately has drawn widespread criticism for implying that being gay dooms one to a "strange, lonely, and troubling" death.

Today the UK's Press Complaints Commission revealed that they received over 21,000 individually written complaints over the weekend which "represent by far the highest number of complaints ever received about a single article in the history of the commission."

"Any complaint from the affected parties will naturally be given precedence by the commission, in line with its normal procedures," the PCC stated, adding, "If, for whatever reason, those individuals do not wish to make a complaint, the PCC will in any case write to the Daily Mail for its response to the more general complaints from the public before considering whether there are any issues under the code to pursue." In this case those issues would involve "intrusion into grief, accuracy, discrimination and homophobia."

Today The Daily Mail ran a short piece detailing the response to Moir's op-ed as well as a commentary by Janet Street-Porter, who says she was "astonished to read" Moir's column and added, ""If Stephen and his partner went to a nightclub and returned to their flat with another man, is it really any of our business?" Street-Porter, who knew Gately, ultimately concludes, "Fact -- Stephen Gately died from natural causes, not from guilt."

In the meantime, the Guardian reports a gang of Jan Moirs have cropped up on Twitter -- including janmoir, Janmoir_UK, and our favorite of the bunch, realjanmoir, if only for his/her clever use of the word "real" to prove his/her authenticity -- and no one is quite sure which, if any, is the bona fide specimen.

Previously > A Daily Mail Column Causes Controversy

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