Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 18:29 UK

Gately's label complains to PCC

Stephen Gately
The PCC has received more than 25,000 complaints over the article

Boyzone's record label, Polydor, has filed an official complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over a Daily Mail column about Stephen Gately.

A spokeswoman for the label confirmed it had contacted the press watchdog, but had no further comment.

Jan Moir's article said Gately's death struck a blow to the "happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships". She denied the piece had homophobic undertones.

More than 25,000 people have now contacted the PCC about the article.

The PCC has already written to the Daily Mail for its response to the complaints received so far - the most ever made about a single newspaper article.

But the body has not made a decision on whether to launch a full investigation.

It generally waits for a complaint from "directly-affected parties" - in this case Gately's family - before taking that step.

Although it has been in touch with representatives of the family, no such complaint has been filed at this stage.

'Never my intention'

Moir's article, published the day before Gately's funeral in Dublin, attracted angry comments on social networking sites and blogs.

In her column, the writer called the Boyzone singer's death "strange, lonely and troubling".

She wrote: "The Gately family are - perhaps understandably - keen to register their boy's demise on the national consciousness as nothing more than a tragic accident."

But she continued: "Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one. Let us be absolutely clear about this.

"All that has been established so far is that Stephen Gately was not murdered."

She concluded: "As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine.

"For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see."

In a statement, Moir later said it was "never my intention" for the article to upset anyone and was not referring to Gately's homosexuality when writing about his "glamorous routine".

"In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones," she added.

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