Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 18:50 UK

Tattoo gay men, clergyman writes

Manchester's Gay Pride 2007 parade (Pic: Phil Boocock)
Gay Pride parades were described in the minister's blog as "obscene"

A Church of England priest has been ordered to remove comments about gay people from his blog, remarks described by his diocese as "highly offensive".

The Rev Peter Mullen, who ministers in the City of London, said he had gay friends and the words were "satirical".

He suggested in his internet blog that homosexuals should have their backsides tattooed with the slogan: "Sodomy can seriously damage your health".

The gay rights group Outrage described the comments as "Neanderthal".

A Diocese of London spokeswoman said the remarks did not reflect its views.

Mr Mullen said: "I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion.

It's the kind of remark you might expect from a drunk on a Saturday night, not someone in a supposedly responsible position
David Allison, Outrage

"What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality."

In the same blog, Mr Mullen called for all gay pride parades, which he branded "obscene", to be outlawed.

He also criticised the blessing of two gay priests at a "wedding" performed earlier this year in a City of London church.

The Diocese of London spokeswoman said officials had met Mr Mullen and it had been agreed that the comments should be removed.

She said: "While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, we fully recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and it is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London."

Outrage spokesman David Allison said: "It's the kind of remark you might expect from a drunk on a Saturday night, not someone in a supposedly responsible position."

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