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Elton John battles to suppress critical story about homosexual partnership

May 26, 2016

British entertainer Elton John has launched an aggressive, expensive—and, to date, largely successful—effort to suppress a report about his homosexual partner's extra-marital activities.

Elton John and David Furnish have attained international prominence as a "model" married homosexual couple, with two children borne by surrogate mothers. When a London tabloid, the Sun, obtained a report that Furnish was involved with another man, as a result of an "open" relationship with John, the couple sought and obtained an injunction against publication of the story. 

Although the publisher argued that reports about the couple's sexual indiscretions were relevant to the public discussion of same-sex marriage, an appeals court upheld the injunction, finding that "the information which it is proposed to publish will not advance the public debate or provide support for any of the competing opinions which are in circulation." The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has upheld the injuction, finding: "There is on present evidence no public interest in any legal sense in the story."

The injunction not only prevents media outlets in Great Britain from publishing the story, but also prohibits the identification of the individuals who have obtained the injunction. In court documents and in news stories the couple are identifed with the initials "PJS" and "YMA." However an American tabloid, the National Enquirer, not bound by the British court ruling, has identified the couple as John and Furnish. 

Nevertheless, the high-profile couple has fought to limit circulation of the story, threatening legal action against internet sites that have carried coverage of their legal battle. The Australian site MercatorNet recently removed a post about the story, after being warned that their American mirror site could be shut down. Irish journalist Paddy Manning, who has written critical accounts of the couple's legal campaign, has been instructed by Twitter that he cannot post on the topic.

The aggressive international campaign by "PJS" and "YMA" presents an interesting test case of the ability of wealthy individuals to eliminate negative stories by the threat of legal action. Further, the fact that John and Furnish are presented as models for the acceptance of homosexual marriage raises questions about the balance of coverage on that issue. 

Although it seems unlikely that Elton John could prevail in a legal effort to enforce a British injunction in other countries, the threat of costly litigation has been sufficient to deter publication of the story by most internet sites. To date, no mainstream media outlet has challenged the effort to suppress the story. 



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  • Posted by: Bernadette - May. 29, 2016 1:12 AM ET USA

    Homosexuality is about sex, period. Unnatural sex. Not about sacrificial agape love in indissoluble sacramental marriage between one man and one woman. Monogamous relationships are practically impossible for actively sexual homosexuals. Studies bear this out.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - May. 28, 2016 1:10 AM ET USA

    The relevance to Catholic culture is this: the Catholic truth about valid marriage has always limited marriage to one manand one woman. That view is suddenly under vicious attack, partly on the grounds that same-sex couples are no more promiscuous, and no less devoted parents, than heterosexual couples. If not corrected, this line of attack on Catholic culture will become conventional wisdom. At best, many Catholics will be deceived. At worst, faithful Catholics will be driven underground.

  • Posted by: filioque - May. 27, 2016 6:34 PM ET USA

    There is a strong move today to push religion out of the public square and confine it to inside church buildings. The Obama Administration talks about "freedom of worship" instead of freedom of religion. The Catholic Church is involved in the debate about redefining marriage to include homosexual couples, who, we are told, exhibit fidelity, good parenting, and other family virtues. This couple has been referenced as a model to demonstrate the point. If they're not, then it's relevant to us.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - May. 27, 2016 6:07 PM ET USA

    I made sure to save this story to my hard drive and take a screenshot in case Elton John cannot deal with it. The aggressive attempts to suppress this story that exposes the typical reality of "gay marriage" are definitely newsworthy.

  • Posted by: k_cusick1963 - May. 27, 2016 8:05 AM ET USA

    I fail to see the point of this article insofar as it relates to Catholic culture.

  • Posted by: Travelling - May. 26, 2016 10:27 PM ET USA

    James, our Catholic culture is about the truth regarding marriage. This item is about legal efforts t hide the truth about marriage.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - May. 26, 2016 8:53 PM ET USA

    I don't see what this article has to do with Catholic culture.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 26, 2016 8:08 PM ET USA

    This kind of thing simply confirms that the dominant culture wants to suppress the truth about homosexual practitioners.