Saturday, February 02, 2008

Internet details being made public

This story was on the front page of the Evening News yesterday - it's about a cop being on an internet site. Is it me or is this bang out of order, not about the man being gay or using the internet but having your profile from an internet site being on the front page of a local newspaper. No wonder people don't want to use their real names on such things. Luckily for him Lothian and Borders Police were voted top LGBT Friendly Employers 2007 because a few years ago the guy could have gotten his cards.

TOP Edinburgh police officer is at the centre of an internet campaign to vote him the world's sexiest gay man.Chief Inspector David Lyle, from the Lothian and Borders force, today said he was flattered someone had seen fit to nominate him for the Sex Factor 2008 contest, hosted by dating site Gaydar."It's a light-hearted bit of frivolous fun," the 55-year-old said. "It makes me smile – I feel slightly flattered. I woke up one morning, saw somebody had nominated me and thought 'good heavens'. I feel quite chuffed."The officer, who campaigns for gay rights in the police, said his online presence had allowed other homosexual officers to speak to him about coming out.On his online profile on the dating site, which includes half naked pictures of himself, the inspector describes himself as a "big-chested, big-hearted man who laughs a lot".He says he is looking for outgoing males aged 18-40 for "friendship, chat/e-mail and other activities".Today he said: "I don't think it's in anyway inappropriate. I think it's interesting that all the attention is always on gay sites. There are a lot of heterosexual dating sites but no one ever seems to hear about them."I have had a profile on Gaydar for eight years and the force has known about it since day one. The main reason for using it is trying to reach out to police officers who are not out. I have been able to make contact with a lot of gay officers who have nobody to talk to."Iain Whyte, convener of Lothian and Borders Police board, said the force had been using Gaydar for some time as an attempt to improve relations."The force has a presence on that site to reach out to reassure gay people that the police are there for them," he said."Obviously some people appreciate the work of David Lyle and appreciate him. I'm sure it's a bit of light-hearted fun."Tory justice spokesman Bill Aitken MSP is reported to have described Mr Lyle's entry into the competition as "unacceptable".But Bernard McEldowney, a spokesman for the Gay Police Association, said police officers had the same right to privacy as everyone else.He said: "There's nothing wrong with a police officer or anybody else having a Gaydar profile as long as there's nothing on there that's inappropriate."Everybody has the right to a private life, as long as there's nothing on their profile that brings their force into disrepute."Earlier this year, Lothian and Borders Police was named as Scotland's best employer for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Check out the article here