Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

BBC defends debate on gay executions in Uganda

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Kris Jones 16 Dec 2009, 7:33pm

    If the editors thought “long and hard” about the question, why did the BBC change it in the headline after the board was closed to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?”. The question in its original form, regardless of any explanatory explanation, gave the impression that executing gays was a legitimate subject for debate regardless of what happens in Uganda.

  2. Is Jan Moir working for the BBC now? Was this an apology?

  3. Its the year 2009 and we are still being forced to defend our right to even exist in the UK. The right to life and freedom is a basic human right that should not need debating in this country and not on the BBC.

    I demand the BBC issues a full public apology for its insensitivity to the LGBT community.

  4. Jeff Duncan 16 Dec 2009, 7:58pm

    PLEASE CALL 03700 100 222
    and leave your comment with a real person and let them know exactly what you think of this – ask for a response to your complaint also.

    I just did.

  5. The BBC need’s to drop the 4 poof’s and a Piano! Maybe they could call them 4 guy’s and a piano instead?

    See this story I wrote for the Pink Paper:
    http://tinyurl.com/ylbz3l7

  6. Making a complaint to the BBC and then to the police were the second and third things I did, after verifying the story. I am staggered, absolutely stunned, that the BBC invited people to agree with the proposition that homosexuals should be executed. That is at the very least borderline incitement to homophobic hatred.

  7. Vincent Poffley 16 Dec 2009, 8:07pm

    This is not a debate. To have a debate you need two or more VALID viewpoints. One might as well “debate” whether or not the earth orbits the sun.

    If I were in a generous mood then I could, just about, believe that the BBC employees who framed this question were attempting a daring piece of psychological showmanship. We are used to seeing sane, sensible, genuinely difficult-to-navigate topics up for debate in cultural and political forums. The very fact that something which so obviously does NOT belong in a legitimate discussion forum suddenly appears in one COULD, I suppose, be intended merely to highlight how nasty and alien to our moral sensibilities the topsy-turvy world of Ugandan politics has become. I could buy that, I suppose, but it requires that I also believe the people who run the BBC discussion forums have a prominent streak of experimental journalistic radicalism, rather than being the purveyors of bland populist pablum they appear to be in pretty much every other context. It is possible that somebody in the team decided to do something daring for once, but I’m not convinced. And even if they were thinking along these lines, they clearly did not think through the consequences very well – enough people were able to take their statement as one which condoned the treatment of mass murder as a legitimate political question. This is hardly surprising given that the medium was a legitimate, albeit low-brow, discussion forum, rather than an editorial or some such.

    None of which would mean that they don’t need to apologise of course. They have still caused significant damage and outrage. I am not sure this qualifies as “hate speech”, but it certainly goes beyond the boundaries of civility that are at the heart of the BBC’s code of practice.

  8. And another thing, I’m sick of hearing this word “insensitivity”. Sod insensitivity… it’s not insensitive. I am as sensitive as a blacksmith’s anvil, and I’m absolutely livid. It’s an outrage!

  9. This will make complaining easier!

    Here is the Screen Grab/Shot :http://tinyurl.com/y8h5z7q

  10. This story in on Sky News (TV news): http://tinyurl.com/y93ucrx

  11. It’s just incredible. The BBC doesn’t ask certain questions because they aren’t a legitimate point of view in a civilised society. Nor does it present certain stereotypes anymore.

    However there seems to be a view at the Corporation that none of the above applies to the LGBT community. We’re fair game for the sort of humiliation and abuse that it wouldn’t dream of dishing out to certain other groups in society and now this.

    In my opinion the headline could be considered incitement. I hope the police will investigate it because I’m sure they would if someone stood on a box in the street or any other public place and suggested this question as a valid starting point for a debate.

    What would be the reaction if I asked whether BBC executives should be executed? Someone how I think PC Plod would be at my door pretty quickly?

  12. Here are some suggested future topics for the BBC’s Have Your Say:

    Is the Holocaust just a big lie?

    Black people: Are they genetically inferior?

    Immigrants: Shall we send them back?

    Peadophiles: They’re not all bad?

    Should we bring back the work house for single mothers?

    Is Islam evil?

    Etc…

  13. I agree that the debate is grossly insensitive and am angry the BBC decided to have it, but i’ll decide their right to have it till my dying day.

    There is a legitimate question in the offing. What right have international bodies to interfere with a democratic process when that democratic process would lead to gross human rights violations. This is an important philosophical question- one worthy of debate.

    I am very sad the BBC chose to be so insensitive.

  14. Should BBC executives face execution? Have Your Say…

    We know this is a ‘stark and disturbing question’ but it’s one that some people are asking.

    Aaron in Freetown, writes: ‘Bravo for this wise decision, a bright step in eliminating this menace from your society. We hope other nations will also follow your bold step.’

    While Chris suggests ‘all BBC executives should be put on a remote island somewhere and left!’

    Valykre writes: ‘I’m not saying BBC executives should be killed, but there should be some kind of restriction on them to stop the further spread of disease’.

  15. I used ‘decide’ instead of ‘defend’.

  16. I agree that the debate is grossly insensitive and am angry the BBC decided to have it, but i’ll defend their right to have it till my dying day.

    There is a legitimate question in the offing. What right have international bodies to interfere with a democratic process when that democratic process would lead to gross human rights violations. This is an important philosophical question- one worthy of debate.

    I am very sad the BBC chose to be so insensitive.

  17. Mumbo Jumbo 16 Dec 2009, 9:33pm

    As the World Service is funded by grant in aid from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and is supposed to reflect British aims and values to a world-wide audience, you can also complain direct to the Foreign Secretary, David Milliband:

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/contact-us

    Just click on the link in the contact ministers section.

  18. Brian Burton 16 Dec 2009, 9:34pm

    The BBC is run by Idiots was spoken by a Journalist on BBCs ‘Have I Got News For You.’ And never a truer word was spoken!

  19. A couple of people asked @STEPHENFRY to RT a message about this but so far he hasn’t done it

  20. I agree that the debate is grossly insensitive and am angry the BBC decided to have it, but i’ll decide their right to have it till my dying day.

    There is a legitimate question in the offing. What right, and what scope have international bodies to interfere with a democratic process when that democratic process would lead to gross human rights violations? This is an important philosophical question- one worthy of debate.

    I am very sad the BBC chose to be so insensitive.

  21. Anthony Bermon 16 Dec 2009, 10:16pm

    The president of Iran once said that Israel should be wiped off the map, but the BBC didn’t feel the need to debate it. Just because something is happening somewhere in the world, doesn’t mean the BBC should legitimise it in this way.

  22. another retard at bbc

  23. Shame on the BBC for this.

    As has been said countless times before, the BBC would never dare to offend Jews, Muslims, black people, the disabled etc. with such a sick question.

    I hope this does create a big storm and then hopefully the BBC will learn that it can’t just treat homosexuals as though they don’t matter.

  24. Simon Murphy 17 Dec 2009, 12:12am

    Luke – you ask the same question 3 times:

    Namely: “There is a legitimate question in the offing. What right have international bodies to interfere with a democratic process when that democratic process would lead to gross human rights violations. This is an important philosophical question- one worthy of debate.”

    Sorry but your post makes no sense.

    The law in Uganda is a genocidal law. Genocide is always wrong. It should never be an appropriate question to ask ‘Is mass murder against a law abiding minority justifiable’ which is what the BBC is doing.

    I have never seen a debate on the BBC Have Your Say about whether adulterous women should be stoned to death; or whether the Holocaust was somehow justifiable; or whether islam is evil.

    The BBC have framed their debate in a way which suggests that the proposed new law may be justifiable. Mass murder is never justifiable. And the BBC should not be asking if it is.

  25. That is pretty f’d up – what were all those involved thinking?

  26. Stephen Furness 17 Dec 2009, 1:12am

    It’s as simple as this…

    Would the BBC have dared to pose the following question:

    ‘Should blacks be executed?’

    I rest my case.
    The BBC is despicable for even suggesting that the persecution of a race is legitimate.

  27. Let’s be precise, Simon. The law itself is not genocidal. Nor is it likely to lead to a genocide. It may lead to horrendous killing, but not genocide.
    Even were the law genocidal, yes, I still think it is up for debate. Debate should never be restrained. We should debate those who believe in these horrific policies, which I repeat, cannot be called genocidal.
    “I have never seen a debate on the BBC Have Your Say about whether adulterous women should be stoned to death; or whether the Holocaust was somehow justifiable; or whether islam is evil.”

    I agree the debate motion itself is insensitive (and disgusting), but that is no grounds for censoring the debate. That would be to use the same tactics that the Ugandan politicians behind the bill use. For example, part of the bill bans discussion of homosexuality.
    And yes, by analogy, discussions of the topics you mention should be allowed in a free society.

    We need open discussions.

  28. I think I must qualify what I’ve said. I would’ve supported the BBC re-motioning (as it were) the debate, so as to focus on the issues I discussed above, namely the question of democratic entitlement (or lack thereof) to laws dissonant with human rights legislation.

  29. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 7:19am

    According to what I’ve been reading, there’s a very good reason why Ugandan authorities believe that basic human rights do not dictate their legislations or their policies.

    In fact, this recent article in the Advocate, gives us an historical perspective which has been completely neglected so far, and which spotlights “George Bush” and “The Family” in order to shed light on the proposal of this most confusing anti-gay legislation in an African country which was held up, not too long ago, as a shinning example of AIDS prevention and control.

    http://www.advocate.com/Politics/Commentary/Uganda_Antigay_Sentiments_Hit_Close_to_Home/

    I can’t believe the expert investigative reporters at BBC are unaware of this connection. I can believe that the Media in the UK would rather we bring it up than they themselves. Frankly, I don’t blame them, even as I see them pussy-footing around the issue. “The Family”….hello Twilight Zone.

  30. I rarely watch the BBC and yet have no choice in paying for a TV licence without a fine, for channels and a website I not only have no interest in but that clearly pays the way for homophobic bigots.
    Why?

  31. The death penalty for being gay? Ewww, I’m sure glad I don’t live in Uganda. In what way is it better than when Idi Amin ran it??

    You don’t have to pay the rotten BBC Tax, mate. The BBC is committing an act of treason against the Crown by accepting funding from the E.U. As long as that persists, you don’t have to pay up. (This is not a rant or a windup. Do some Googling and check it out.)

  32. @ Tommy: If you don’t pay your TV licence and they chase you up over it, I doubt calling them treasonous will stand up in a crown court of law. Why? Because its not an act of treason at all. Of course you’re more than welcome to prove me wrong, please let me know when I can see you from the court’s viewing gallery.

  33. You can have a TV, DVD player and video recorder and not have a TV licence providing you don’t receive any TV ‘as it is broadcast’ on any of those. You can legally watch DVDs and even recordings you made when you did have a licence. Currently you can also watch programmes on iPlayer without a TV licence but not live streams of channels.

    If there is any reception of channels on your equipment they can prosecute you. But you are under no obligation to reply to their letters, answer your door to them or allow them into your house.

    They need a search warrant to enter and won’t get that without evidence that you are receiving programmes. One of them dressed as a postman to catch out one of my neighbours. Personally I wouldn’t trust them to enter my house. If you do let them in make sure you have at least one witness in case they lie about what they saw.

  34. Simon Murphy 17 Dec 2009, 11:24am

    Luke: “I agree the debate motion itself is insensitive (and disgusting), but that is no grounds for censoring the debate. ”

    But the BBC would never allow a debate on whether the Holocaust was acceptable or whether black people or adulterous women should be executed, so you’re defending a grossly offsensive homophobic double standard by arguing that a proposed genocidal law is worthy of debate.

    Do you think Have Your Say should have a debate on its Arabic service asking ‘Should jews face execution?’. That is after all the few of some people in the Arab world. If not then why not?

  35. “But the BBC would never allow a debate on whether the Holocaust was acceptable or whether black people or adulterous women should be executed, so you’re defending a grossly offsensive homophobic double standard by arguing that a proposed genocidal law is worthy of debate.

    Do you think Have Your Say should have a debate on its Arabic service asking ‘Should jews face execution?’. That is after all the few of some people in the Arab world. If not then why not?”

    I believe that all these things should be allowed to be debated, yes. My position is consistent. Whether it is morally acceptable for them to be debated is another question entirely. In a just society we permit many things that, personally or collectively, we may feel are morally unnacceptable.

  36. Simon Murphy 17 Dec 2009, 4:00pm

    “I believe that all these things should be allowed to be debated”

    But do you accept that the BBC would NEVER allow a debate on its Arabic website that the murder of Jewish people is justified?

    What are YOU going to do to protect the ‘freedom of speech’ of people who want to murder jews or muslims or women or black people, seeing as you are such a fan of ‘freedom of speech’?

    Or do you think that ‘freedom of speech’ only applies to people who want to murder gay people?

    ***Note to Pink News – keep an eye on this Luke person. I have a suspicion that he is a troll.

  37. Challenging question indeed. Why don’t they ask if people should be forced to pay license fees?

  38. The BBC should face heavy prossecution for their double standards applied every time a gay topic arises.

  39. Robert Preston 17 Dec 2009, 9:42pm

    The BBC acted irresponsibley PERIOD FULL STOP. Would they have asked the same question about executing black people because of their race? Muslims because of their religion? Raped women because of their plight? No way. But because of bias, they think it’s permissible to legitimise hate crimes against the GLBT community. This is dead wrong and they have blood on their hands.

  40. I think that there are numerous ways in which the BBC could have addressed the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill.
    For instance, “If the Ugandan Parliament passes a law to execute gay people, should aid be stopped and should Uganda be expelled from the Commonwealth?”
    or, “Is homophobic legislation a remnant from British colonialism?”
    or, “Is the proposed killing of gay people in Uganda the same as the holocaust of the Jews and gay people by the Nazis during World War 2?”
    or, “Should evangelican Christian groups support legislation to kill people who do not abide by Christian beliefs?”
    or, “If you force people to act according to certain beliefs, are you taking away their free will?”
    or, “Does a law ever justify genocide?”

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all
Tag Code: