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UK Dad Arrested For Anti-Gay Facebook Post, Says He's Not Homophobic

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Wednesday August 6, 2014

A British dad arrested for his July 14 anti-gay rant on Facebook says he's not homophobic -- he was just having a bad day.

The Chronicle Live reports Paul Gair, a 42-year-old father of three, posted a filthy rant on their Facebook page during Newcastle's Northern Pride Festival for LGBT people.

"If your parents were faggots, you horrible gay cunts wouldn't of [sic] been born!" wrote Gair. "Should be lined up and machine gunned, vile, disgusting cunts!" In another post about Pride, he wrote that gays should be "slaughtered."

Newcastle's Magistrate Court reportedly didn't like Gair's hate speech and threats, and arrested the father of three, fearing for the safety of festival-goers.

"It is very worrying when you hear people could be thinking of coming down and killing gays," said Mark Nichols, chair of Northern Pride, in court. "If the post was about race or religion, there would have been an uproar."

Gay Star News reports Gair pled guilty to sending a message of an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing manner during an August 1 hearing. They fined him £280, and ordered him to pay a £28 victim surcharge and £85 costs, for a total of £393, or about $662.

The UK Mirror notes that when Gair was arrested, he claimed that he wasn't homophobic, but that he was just "having a bad day." Gair then apologized to Nichols for any offense he had caused.

But this was too late to avoid the condemnation of other Facebook users and the magistrates who sentenced him. Chair of the bench Eileen Burt reportedly said that, "I think everybody in court is probably disgusted by your behavior. You have lost your good name forever. I think for me this highlights the dangers of social media because people forget how many read and see comments on there."

Gair's attorney, Denise Jackman, said his client knew his remarks were "terrible," saying, "He cannot explain himself why he did this. All he said to me was he was having a bad day," and that he "had no aversion to these types of people." These types of people indeed!

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.