The Daily Telegraph
has published an advert criticising The Times
columnist Libby Purves for her pro-gay views.
The newspaper has included the open letter from Greek businessman and author Demetri Marchessini, in which he accuses her of downplaying "the connection of homosexuality to religion".
The open letter begins: "One of the fascinating questions about journalistic life in London is why the well-known columnist Libby Purves, who has clearly stated that she does not believe in religion, repeatedly tells those who do believe in religion, what they should think."
Marchessini appears to reference a column written by Purves for The Times
on January 20, titled 'Surprise, surprise, dictators are also bigots'
He continues: "What Miss Purves and many others cannot grasp is the fact that when our government made homosexuality legal, it did not make it moral. Governments can decide on laws, but only God decides on morality. How can anybody, let alone Miss Purvis (sic), tell people what they should think about homosexuality?"
The businessman also claims that there are "several inaccuracies" in the January 20 column, including the use of the term 'homophobic', which he claims does not exist.
"It cannot be found in any dictionary, nor does it have any meaning," he says.
Purves has responded to the ad on Twitter, saying
: "Great giggling at @thetimes about the furious Marchessini buying space (bafflingly) in @Telegraph to refute me on Putin antigay policy..."
"OK, Marchessini is a joke: but persecution, beating, jailing and hanging of young gay men around the world (inc Commonwealth) is not a joke."