The offending cartoon.

A student newspaper at a US university in Indiana has apologised for publishing an anti-gay cartoon which has been described as promoting violence against LGBT people.

Notre Dame University’s The Observer ran the cartoon, titled ‘The Mobile Party’, last week. It depicts two figures in conversation.

The one asks, “What’s the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?”

The other responds “No idea.”

The punch line is then delivered by the first figure: “A baseball bat.”

Fruit is often used as a derogatory term for gay people. The original version of the cartoon, which was published on the artist’s blog, had the punch line “AIDS” instead of “a baseball bat.”

According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), regretful Editor in Chief Jenn Metz said that the cartoon had been published while she was away and promised to run a retraction.

A few days later, the newspaper published an apology, stating: “The editors of The Observer would like to publicly apologize for the publication of ‘The Mobile Party’ in the Jan. 13 edition. The burden of responsibility ultimately lies on us for allowing it to go to print.

“There is no excuse that can be given and nothing that can be said to reverse the damage that has already been done by this egregious error in judgment.”

It was also announced that Assistant Managing Editor Kara King had resigned. She said that while she also had not seen the cartoon until it was published she was “solely responsible for providing a forum for this message of hate”.

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