- Sharon BaylayDirector of Marketing, Communications & Audiences
- Lizo MzimbaReporter, BBC
Tell BBC: No More Commentators Who Believe Gay People Should Be Executed
Not too long ago, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stepped in it something big, when they actually polled their audience on the question of whether it was OK to execute gay people. The media powerhouse defended the poll at first, saying that they were trying to reach out to their African audience, where several pieces of legislation (most notably in Uganda) are up for consideration that would criminalize homosexuality with the death penalty or life imprisonment. Only after significant online pressure did the BBC relent and say that the poll was perhaps a bit tactless.
Fast forward to December 2010, and it looks like the BBC might not have learned from its mistakes. Because in a story last night on their flagship news show, News at Six, the BBC ran a segment on the news that Elton John and David Furnish became gay daddies. And who did they turn to for an interview?
Stephen Green from an organization known as Christian Voice. Green has previously said that gay people deserve the death penalty, that gay celebrities are wicked and should be publicly hung, and that LGBT people are akin to mass murderers. Sound like the type of person who ought to be legitimized by the BBC?
Send the media company a message that commentators like Stephen Green do not deserve a soap box for their violent and dangerous agendas. As Dan Savage said earlier this year: "There are no ‘two sides’ to the issue of LGBT rights." Let's make sure the BBC gets that message.
- Director of Marketing, Communications & Audiences
- Reporter, BBC
In a recent segment of the BBC's News at Six, the show ran a story about Elton John's and David Furnish's decision to start a family. But who did the BBC turn to as a commentator? Stephen Green from an organization known as Christian Voice.
This is particularly controversial, because in the past, Green has said that gay people deserve to be executed, that they should be publicly hung, and that gay people are comparable to mass murderers.
This is not the type of person the BBC should turn to for comment, let alone for a story about gay celebrities raising children.
I urge the BBC to stop giving a platform to people with violent and dangerous agendas. I know the BBC is dedicated to giving both sides of a story, but when the other side in this case has a history of dehumanizing rhetoric, that's not objective reporting. It's called giving a soapbox to people who want to do violence to the LGBT community.
Please apologize for turning to such an extreme figure for comment on a BBC story, and please pledge to make sure that BBC airwaves no longer give soapboxes to hate groups.
Thank you for your time.
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