Chess controversy over gay T-shirt

A T-shirt causes scandal at the British Chess Championship

The president of the English Chess Federation says he was barred from presenting prizes at the British chess championships in Sheffield because he was wearing a gay rights T-shirt.

CJ de Mooi, an actor and a regular on the BBC quiz show Eggheads, said he was left “shaking with fury” over objections to the shirt, which bore the slogan “Some people are gay, get over it”, used by gay rights group Stonewall.

De Mooi said he was approached by the championship arbiter, Lara Barnes, prior to the awards ceremony and urged to reconsider his outfit. “They then suggested that it might be better if I just presented prizes to the adults,” he said. “I refused. I was either going to present all the prizes or none at all.”

Barnes denied asking de Mooi to change his shirt, saying she had merely expressed reservations. “I didn’t think that promoting gay rights, which I thoroughly agree with, while presenting prizes to junior chess players was an appropriate thing,” she said. “Usually prize-givers for a national event would wear a suit and tie.”

Read the whole story at the Guardian