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BBC ditches ‘Should homosexuals be executed?’ debate title after complaints

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  1. Yes, I noticed this when trying to show my parents about this revolting headline.
    We need to sent it to OfCom, and all the other news people.
    I still dont know what the hell the BBC were thinking about the headline at first…
    Thanks for bringing it to our attention Attitude :-)

  2. A Ugandan MP accused of calling for a “gay death penalty” says he has been misrepresented and is only trying to criminalise child abusers.

    Oh I see now, he only meant to say that gay people are paedophiles. And there was me thinking the BBC is made up of homophobic bigots

  3. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 1:32am

    None of this spectacular news should veil the presence and influence of American religious fundamentalists in Africa.

    Rick Warren and his crew are the ones who are inciting violence against gays; let’s never forget that.

  4. the bbc have shot themselves in the foot with this. that’ for sure.

  5. The BBC might need to branch into its own range of anti-discrimination t-shirts now it’s caused such uproar, the slogan could read, ‘Some people are BBC, get over it!’

    They are going to need all the help they can get to claw their way out of this ;)

  6. If this was the first time the bbc had failed the lgbt community, I would have been shocked but the truth is they allow homophobes to humiliate us on the radio (chris moyles) and they allow comedians to stereotype our sexuality and don’t serve the lgbt community at all. The bbc used to have a weekly show for gay people but we don’t even have that these days. Even if we made up 1% of the UK population which we don’t (it’s more like 8%) that would be 600,000 people – more people than watch bbc four. The bbc fails us every single day and this is no shock but strangely, I still find myself being really hurt every time these things happen.

    It’s just plain wrong. We are HUMAN BEINGS for goodness sake!!!

  7. crazyamoeba 17 Dec 2009, 2:20am

    Huh. Somebody should point out to Chris from Guildford that the ability to sustain the species is not the sole requirement for something to be classified as natural. Homosexuality is something that occurs in people when they are born. Can’t think of anything more natural really. (In fact, ‘behaviour that is not learnt’ is one of the definitions of ‘natural’). Even he would want to take the opinion that homosexuality is a result of the environment and not nature, he would still be ignorant to the point of hilarity; the human species has developed and adapted according to the environment. Oh, what’s it called? Natural selection? Yeah, that’s it! That’s how we came to be the humans that we are today. Darwin, look him up, love. Oh, and if he wants to condemn things on the basis of their being supposedly unnatural, he should get the hell off the computer that he used to submit that comment, because as far as I am aware, a computer is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. Also, it doesn’t sustain the species.

  8. To the dumbass who wants to put us on an island: there will always be more of us, generation after generation. Because we come from you.

  9. Peter Finch 17 Dec 2009, 5:28am

    People stood together today it was a really good feeling
    there are times when you feel very tender because of the viciousness but when people stand up it gives you strength again.

    I don’t think the BBC will be doing this again.

    I am a human being god dammit! My Life Has Value!

  10. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 7:30am

    “The Family” decides if your life has value, Peter, not you; and especially if you live in Uganda today.

    I believe the “Advocate” has hit the nail squarely on the head with a wee bit of historical perspective:

    Let’s just say that the Ugandan president has been assisted to build his out-house directly over an opening in your living room ceiling. Get the picture?

  11. The headline ‘Should homosexuals face execution’ is still on the BBC’s Africa Have Your Say page currently at 07.50 on Thursday morning.

  12. 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.

  13. “Politicians from all the main partis have expressed revulsion”.

    What a non-sense! Only a tiny bunch of those with the Gender Identity Disorder nervously commented on it. You are making a fuss out of nothing, silly sick bigots.

  14. I take it Mobama you would have no issues to another poll reading “Should Mobama be executed… vote yes or no and tell us your reasons”. After all wouldn’t want to be making a “Fuss over nothing ” would we.
    Seems that according to you and the BBC our basic human rights are up for debate. Would be interested to know how you voted on the issue, but I’m pretty sure I can guess.

  15. Hey Mobama. I’ve noticed your homophobic rantings on some previous articles. Where did you get your PHD in human biology? Was it Uganda? It must drive your ignorant little mind crazy with rage to have to live in a country where your backward, medieval views on human diversity are such a pathetic little minority.. eh? Did you know that your stupid bible says that slavery is perfectly justified, & ‘normal’:
    ‘Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations..’
    This therefore justifies the black slave trade.
    Your thoughts (oh enlightened one..)


  17. How about sending all the homophobes to a remote island?

    I am shocked that the BBC even hosted such a debate; it implies that there is room for moral ambiguity on the issue, which there isn’t.

    I am also sickened by the implication that LGBT people are more likely to be paedophiles. Paedophilia is about an inability to cope with autonomous adult sexuality and a desire for control. Same-sex desire is about desiring someone of the same sex. No connection.

  18. The BBC are not the station they once were respected by billions all over the world! They have gone down hill with there encouraging of far right groups such as the BNP and programs like the Jonathan Ross show that continue the homophobic stereotypical view of gays. This year over 1 Million people marched in London to calibrate London Pride and the BBC (TV News) did not cover it, if it had been 10 people marching from the BNP they would have! Even yesterday a guy was sent to prison for 32years for Murder and attempted Murder and the BBC refused to cover it and they continue to refuse to cover any homophobic murders.

  19. Maybe the BBC would take the matter seriously and apologise about it if @STEPHENFRY was to make known his personal views – perhaps a tweet would help?

  20. Given that this story is in most daily newspapers (Times, Telegraph, Mail, Guardian, Independent etc) it’s odd that the news isn’t being reported by BBC News.

  21. @ dave, you expect the BBC to report something negative about themselves?

    I’ve been wondering for a few years now why I have to pay money to the BBC.

    It’s not impartial anymore, it panders far too much to certain political parties and political beliefs. If I had a choice about where my licence fee went, the Beeb wouldn’t see a penny of it.

    This latest debacle just highlights how out of touch they are with the people they serve: i.e. us, the British Public that pay them to do their job. They are a public body, taking money out of the public purse. It’s time they were held to account.

  22. Mobama wrote – thread 13
    “Politicians from all the main partis have expressed revulsion”.
    What a non-sense! Only a tiny bunch of those with the Gender Identity Disorder nervously commented on it. You are making a fuss out of nothing, silly sick bigots.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Homosexuality is not a gender identity disorder
    Homosexuality accounts for about 10% of the population
    Homosexuals are not bigots if they challenge statements which are implicit with murder.

    Mobama . . . I can see that you are uneducated, misinformed, and it is not a suprise that you are mentally unwell.

  23. Mumbo Jumbo 17 Dec 2009, 1:49pm

    The situation we have here is that whilst a news anchor such as Rachel Maddow on the US MSNBC network is mounting a unequivocal campaign on her show condemning what is going on in Uganda, here in the UK the BBC has chosen to respond to the sheer hell this outrageous legislation will cause by opening up a debate on whether social cleansing is a good idea or not.

    WTF is going on here?

    It simply wrong and it just beggars belief that this has been allowed to happen after “careful thought”.

    If it was so carefully thought out why did they have to change the title and then remove comments that should never have got past the moderators in the first place and then have to close it dowwn altogether?

    Furthermore, the World Service part of the BBC is there to reflect British aims and values to an overseas audience and is funded by grant-in-aid (ie. your taxes not the licence fee) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for this purpose.

    With this in mind, it is pointless the foreign secretary sending out (as he has done, to his great credit) instructions to our ambassadors in respect of using our embassies to show support for local “pride” events if the BBC then turn around and use the cheque he gives them to operate the World Service to start a debate on whether or not LGBT people should even be allowed to exist.

    You can write to David Miliband and draw this utter madness to his attention by using the “contact ministers section” in the link below.

    You might also want to check out this BBC editors forum and add your comments to the editor’s ridiculous defence of his actions there:

    And also pitch in to this BBC blog on the topic:

  24. John(Derbyshire) 17 Dec 2009, 1:59pm

    Yes-but I remember a similar debate on the TODAY Radio 4 news programme earlier this year when James Naughtie-one of the programmes main presenters-was discussing the issue of of the moment-which related to a conference concerned with turning gay people straight. What offended me was that the issue was being discussed with Naughtie putting forward the arguments for and against it-as though it were a legitimate topic for discussion. It was deeply offensive to any gay person listening.

  25. “What offended me was that the issue was being discussed with Naughtie putting forward the arguments for and against it-as though it were a legitimate topic for discussion. It was deeply offensive to any gay person listening.”
    No one has a right not to be offended. In a genuinely free society, everything can be debated. To cordon off areas of debate is to restrict freedom of speech. Now, we can off course put pressure on people not to entertain and discuss certain thoughts. One way this has been done is by the pressure on people not to use offensive terms, such as ‘faggot’, etc. But we should never allow that pressure to actually prevent expression of belief itself, where expression of that belief does not itself incite violence. And by inciting violence I mean, directly cause the death of the people to whom violence was incited against.

    People who try to stop debates on topics they find offensive are behaving no better than those government officials who tried to do so in Russia of the early 20’s, or those legislators behind the Ugandan bill who wish to ban discussion of homosexuality. They might use the same arguments as you. For example, they might say, homosexuality should not be able to be discussed because it is ‘offensive’. This shows that our concept of what is ‘offensive’ is highly subjective and relative to certain cultures. It is also, of course relative to certain points in history. Once we allow are feelings as to whether something is ‘offensive’ curtail expression of belief, we are floating away from a truly democratic society. For the concept of a democracy is premised on the idea that exchange of beliefs, however odious, is a right, and a right which should only in the direst of incidents be curtailed.

    1. Yeah, except a discussion about wether gays should be executed or not goes way beyond simple “free speech”.

      You’re acting as if it’s a valid argument and a discussion that should happen. In what world would this be a valid argument?

  26. Pete & Michael 17 Dec 2009, 2:46pm

    And LGBT people pay a licence fee for this?

  27. I suppose parallells would be a discussion in the newspapers of the time as to whether the Nazis were right to consider executing all the Jews as a final solution, or any other more recent attempt at ethnic cleansing being debated as appropriate in online forums.

  28. Write a comment to the Editors of the BBC :

  29. Simon Murphy 17 Dec 2009, 3:08pm

    Luke: “No one has a right not to be offended. In a genuinely free society, everything can be debated. To cordon off areas of debate is to restrict freedom of speech. ”

    As I am sure you will agree freedom of speech does not mean, being given a national platform on a national broadcaster to express each and every view, regardless of how insane they are. If that is what you mean then your arguement is utterly ludicrous.

    Naughtie is entitled to hold whatever views he wants and he is free to publish whatever pamphlets he wishes, expresssing his personal views at his own expense and to distribute them to whomever he wants. His freedom of speech however does not extend to giving him a national platform on a publicly funded TV station to express views which are regarded as fake by all medical and psychiatric organisations. The BBC is required in its mandate to the British public to remain impartial. Giving airtime and therefore credence to a man whose views are held to be lies by all medical and social and psychiatric experts is not being impartial.

    In any case where do you get the idea that we live in a society where freedom of speech is fully permitted. We don’t and we never have. Freedom of speech only applies so long as the speech does not incite hatred or violence to another person. It is a crime to incite hatred and violence against another person or group. Therefore if the BNP decided hold a rally campaigning for new gas chambers be opened to deal with the ‘problem’ of islam or homosexuality then they are guilty of a crime; and they are not allowed to use the ‘freedom of speech’ defence.

    Do you disagree with this situation?

    To call for death to the Queen for example is regarded as the crime of treason and that is (I think) the only crime in the UK still punishably by death.

    People who think freedom of speech is absolute (or indeed think that it has EVER been absolute) are deluding themselves.

    Freedom of speech does not apply to screaming ‘Fire’ in a crowded cinema – you’d get arrested for causing a public nuisance.

    In any case we don’t live in a genuinely free society as you suggest. It is

  30. @ Mobama

    I have gender identity disphoria (its not disorder) but I also have a sexuality as well. I know it a hard concept for you to understand the difference between sexuality and gender with you one dimensional viewpoint.

  31. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 3:19pm

    Following my post 10, here is part 2 of an article “Uganda Antigay Sentiments Hit Close to Home” by Kim Stolz presently headlining in The Advocate (

    Uganda Antigay Sentiments Hit Close to Home

    COMMENTARY: Kim Stolz wonders why certain U.S. senators refuse to comment on Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill — a bill the White House, international human rights organizations, and even some typically conservative Christian groups have condemned.
    By Kim Stolz
    David Bahati, sponsor of Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill.

    Many Americans have heard of a group led by Doug Coe called “the Family,” or “C Street,” and most of us are aware of their annual National Prayer Breakfast, at which the president of the United States speaks each year. The Family is an intimidating and powerful group, with a network that stretches across the globe, and “key men,” as the group labels them, in dozens of countries. Three of these “key men” are David Bahati, who introduced the October 14 bill; James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda’s minister for ethics and integrity, who strongly supports the bill; and Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda himself, who also has come out in full support of the bill. When the U.K. newspaper The Guardian asked about the bill, Buturo responded:

    “We used to say Mr. and Mrs. But now it is Mr. and Mr. What is that now? We believe there are limits to human rights.”

    While it would be speculation to call these men “friends” with certain U.S. congressmen, there is evidence to support that they are certainly colleagues and members of the same “secret” Family.

    One of the most significant rules in being part of the Family is that you’re not allowed to talk about it or disclose other members’ identities. There is an unspoken understanding in Washington that the Family holds meetings at a house on C Street in the capital and that some members of the Family live there for reduced rent. Further, the complex, which serves as both a church and home for Christian congressmen, was in the news recently for three residents’ separate scandals. The Family practices a type of “elite fundamentalism,” coined by Jeff Sharlet who is perhaps our nation’s greatest expert on the group, and while the Family was founded on laissez-faire economic principles and expansionist foreign policy beliefs, it has now added cultural and social initiatives to its mission.

    Sharlet claims that David Coe, son of founder Doug Coe, in an effort to explain what it was like to be a “chosen one” as part of the group, asked a young man who was new to the group:

    ‘“Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?”

    The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster.

    “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.”

    Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.’

    Conspiracy theory? Maybe. Take a look at parts 1 and 3 of this story, and you will be convinced that Uganda has not acted unilaterally in developing this anti-gay attitude and proposing such outlandish legislation.

    Also, check out Jeff Sharlett, and let’s keep this debate on the airwaves till the truth will out.

  32. What the BBC did yesterday was a criminal offence of incitement to hatred with a homophobic bias. A persons right to life is the one basic human right every citizen has.

    It is not open for debate ever.

  33. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 3:48pm

    Ideally yes, Abi 1975, I agree.

    The fact is that human rights are not considered “sacred’ by the American religious fundamentalists who have been influencing Ugandan authorities. The logic is as simple as it gets: God’s laws are revealed; Human rights are man-made; man is a sinner, etc., etc., etc.

    For an introduction to “The Family”, check out: and let’s get this debate working in favor of human rights; our rights; the rights of every human being.

  34. How shameful and disgusting that a discussion should take place on the BBC based on the proposition that innocent people should face execution! Imagine the question rewororded as: ‘Should Jews be executed’ or ‘Should Blacks be executed’. There would rightly be a national outcry. Someones job at the BBC should be on the line for this.

  35. Why has someone not been sacked already for this. Ron is absolutely right. If the BBC had asked ‘Should Jews be Executed?’ the police would, or should, be knocking on the door with an arrest warrant for incitement to racial hatred. This is appalling and to think that EVERYONE has to pay a licence fee!!!

  36. Rachel Titley 17 Dec 2009, 6:04pm

    I would question their wording of it, but not the need to ask the question. Not because I think we need to defend ourselves, but because it’s a good opportunity to show those who claim that gay pride has had its day that there is still a need for it. Remember when they had Nick Griffin on Question Time? Everyone was horrified and offended at the BBC, but when the time came he was shown to be the ass he is. Instead of villifying the BBC, we should be villifying the people who would answer ‘yes’

  37. Dominick J. 17 Dec 2009, 6:24pm

    I think if they felt they needed to leave the title we could put up a title that read “SHOULD ALL Fundamental Conservatives OPPOSING Gay Rights be Shot or Hung OR sent to the Fireing squad OR sent to prison for life”?!!

  38. Robert, ex pat Brit 17 Dec 2009, 6:56pm

    Jean-Paul, you’re absolutely right about The Family. Further, there are a few democrats who are members, its not just republicans. One of them is that bastard Stupak, a conservative democrat who wanted no health insurance coverage for abortions in the current health care reform debate. This is a very sinister group of people who want to make America a theocracy. Its important that we keep this story alive. I wouldn’t mind betting they were also instrumental in empowering the National Organization for Marriage under the leadership of bigot skank Maggy Gallagher, a once unwed mother.

  39. I for one am glad the BBC posted this debate Pepole need to wake up ! I have been watching what has been ufolding as to who what where and how we have got to this point and im frightend !!!

    I hope it has made people realise what is actualy going on in the world ?

    We can’t sit back and let this happen

    Question …

    Isn’t it hestrosexuals that are spreading aids in africa ?

    Is it only the homosexuals that will be put to death?

    Have you heard of “The FAMILY” in America ?

    Well president Ohbama has …!

    Robert is right we need to keep this debate going. Peoples lives depend on it !

  40. “I for one am glad the BBC posted this debate Pepole need to wake up ! I have been watching what has been ufolding as to who what where and how we have got to this point and im frightend !!!”

    What has the BBC really done to publicise this Ugandan Bill? Nothing on Newsnight or any of their national current affairs programmes. The BBC doesn’t even have the good grace to report news about the controversy. BBC impartiality is a LIE

  41. Unbelievable that that question even saw the light of day and to those despicable individuals who said we should be put on an island .I think you monsters should be the ones put on an island what in the world is wrong with people in this world?What a sick and cruel planet we live on.:(

    The BBC should be ashamed of themselves even allowing a question like that to begin with.

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