The late Mark Bingham and his mother

The mother of a gay man who became a hero by fighting to save passengers aboard a doomed 9/11 flight has lashed out at a radio presenter’s anti-gay comments.

American radio and television presenter Carson Daly caused a furore after he suggested on his radio show that gay people wouldn’t have done anything in a recent incident in which passengers were forced to subdue an American airline pilot who had a breakdown in the middle of a flight.

“Most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas, it was like a bunch of dudes and well trained dudes, thank god,” said Daly.

“With my luck, it would be like, ‘this is the flight going to the [gay] pride parade in San Francisco. I mean, that would be my colleagues,” he added.

His comments were met with outrage and condemnation, especially in light of the heroic actions of Mark Bingham, a gay man who was among those who fought hijackers on United Flight 93 which crashed on September 11, 2001.

No one is more outraged than Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, who issued a message to Daly through the TMZ site.

“Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit.

“No one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking ‘Are you straight? Are you gay?’ No one doubted that a guy who weighed 220 and stood 6’4” tall — who could run over a charging opponent on the field, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona earlier that summer – would be an asset to a desperate group trying to overcome a threat onboard an airliner.

“The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men. Gay men in sports uniforms and military uniforms have been winning America’s games and fighting America’s battles for a long time: quietly, humbly, and in the face of vicious bigotry.

“I hope you and I may have an opportunity to talk sometime. I prefer to believe you didn’t mean to offend. Good luck to you.”

Daly has since apologised, saying: “The fact that I have hurt anyone is devastating. I’m not that guy. I’m proud to be an ally of the LGBT community and will continue to fight with them.”

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