On Monday, June 20th, the WBEN Poll of the Day asked viewers "How do you feel about gay marriage?" Same-gender marriage is a hot-button issue in New York as a marriage equality bill is debated by legislators. The answers that WBEN provided for its poll, however, show deep bias by the radio and internet media outlet. One lukewarm, pro-equality answer competed with four strongly negative answers. In the poll, readers could choose one of five options: "I'm opposed due to moral beliefs,"I'm opposed due to religious beliefs," "I just think it's wrong," "All of the above," and "I'm 'OK' with gay marriage."
Other parts of WBEN's website demonstrate the extent of the station's homophobic worldview. A webpage highlighting reader comments on same-gender marriage says "Make your case for and against NY giving the OK to Homosexual Marriage."
WBEN has since removed the poll from its website without issuing an apology. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community deserves an official apology for WBEN's encouragement of LGBT discrimination. News outlets must be held accountable for their reporting, and WBEN is no different. Sign the petition to show WBEN that homophobia has no place on their website.
- Program Director
- Wben.com Editor
David J. Field
- Chairman and CEO
Joseph M. Field
On Monday, June 20th WBEN featured a biased poll asking readers “How do you feel about gay marriage?” Four out of five answers available were against marriage equality, allowing readers to choose their reasoning behind their answer. The fifth answer only showed lukewarm support for marriage equality and did not allow for poll-takers to explain their position. Loving gay and lesbian couples deserve a fair-minded poll, especially at a time when same-gender marriage equality is up for a vote in the New York State Senate. Regardless of personal opinions, people on both sides of the issue deserve to be treated fairly by "neutral" media outlets. This poll encourages bias and homophobia and silences the voices of acceptance.
I call on WBEN to swiftly issue an official apology for June 20th's blatantly homophobic WBEN Poll of the Day. It is an offensive, biased poll that only serves to hurt the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Furthermore, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community deserves an apology for WBEN's encouragement of homophobia and bigotry.
Tom Basgil Jr. started this petition with a single signature, and now has 423 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.