London - War would be a thing of the past if more men were gay because armies are “essentially heterosexual hobbies”, the singer Morrissey has claimed.
In comments that might surprise gay people who have battled to serve openly in the armed forces, as well as students of military history, the 53-year-old former Smiths frontman said that “homosexual men would never kill other men”.
Morrissey, who is known for his controversial statements, made the claims during an interview with an online magazine for teenage girls, where he discussed what causes were important to him as a young man.
Answering “war”, he suggested that if there were more gay men, there would be fewer conflicts. “War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality,” he said.
“If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men. They even get medals for it,” he added to rookiemag.com.
“Women don't go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies.”
His suggestion is, however, at odds with the fact that some of the greatest warriors were are rumoured to have been homosexual or bisexual.
Julius Caesar, who married three women in his lifetime, is believed to have had an affair with King Nicomedes of Bithyni, while Alexander the Great and Richard the Lionheart have also been rumoured to have had gay lovers.
More recently the sexual orientation of the British war hero TE Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, has been the subject of debate by historians.
Restrictions on gay men and women serving in the British armed forces were lifted in 2000. Barack Obama repealed the US military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in 2011.
In a typically forthright interview, Morrissey also criticised the current state of the arts, saying that they have been diminished because “we are now living through a time when we are encouraged not to think”.
Speaking of his forthcoming autobiography (believed to be 660 pages) he said: “I think autobiography is mostly self-worship, or personal mythology. In my case, self-disgust is the spur, which doesn't mean it isn't poetic or elevated or even funny.”
Morrissey has regularly courted controversy. His statements in interviews and on-stage often criticise fellow singers, such as Madonna and Elton John. He is an outspoken critic of the Royal Family, whom he has labelled “benefit scroungers”.
His anti-meat comments are particularly contentious. He has called the Chinese a “subspecies” for their treatment of animals and claimed that the 2011 attacks by Anders Breivik in Norway, which killed 97 people, were “nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried shit every day.”
BORN TO FIGHT: SUPPOSED GAY MILITARY GREATS
Lawrence of Arabia
TE Lawrence is renowned for his brilliant tactical nous in helping the Arabs fight Turkish oppression from 1916 to 1918, but years after his death in 1935, speculation grew over his personal life. His relationship with an Arab boy nicknamed Dahoum, of whom Lawrence had a naked statue carved, may not have been just platonic.
Richard the Lionheart
The 12th Century King of England, who made a failed attempt to conquer the Holy Land, had a childless marriage with a wife he rarely saw. Rumours surrounding his sexuality stem from a night he spent in the same bed as Philip II, the French king. But academics argued that at the time, this was “an accepted political act, nothing sexual about it”.
Alexander the Great
He commanded one of the largest empires in the ancient world, but despite having his pick of women from Greece to India, Alexander the Great indulged in other pleasures. He is thought to have enjoyed liaisons with Bagoas, a eunuch “boy toy” given to Alexander by a Persian noble who wished to gain his favour. - The Independent