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Viewers complain over BBC interview with anti-gay extremist

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  1. I received a standard response from the BBC this morning, not taking into account the points I made in my complain and basically telling me to bugger off… here it is:

    Thank you for your feedback regarding the BBC News bulletin at 18:20, broadcast on 28 December 2010.

    We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

    We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services

  2. So… What they’re saying is, if it had been a mixed race celebrity couple having a baby, they would’ve interviewed Nick Griffin?

  3. Come and join us on mypinknews my clicking on the button “MY” under home.

    We have set up a group called Media Watch, and look forward to you sharing your responses from Offcom with us

    JK

  4. I don’t feel that their response understands the point that most people were making. The point was not ‘should the BBC give an opposing view point?’ but, ‘is it right to give a platform to known extremists?
    I would also argue that there was no positive viewpoint given. Elton’s own thoughts on his own fatherhood are not an external comment on the news issue.
    Its time the BBC looked at their homophobia self-critically and stopped trying to fob off genuine concerns as ‘lobbying’ or a ‘web-campaign’ Even the BBC can be wrong sometimes, surely?

  5. Mumbo Jumbo 5 Jan 2011, 1:36pm

    “We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Jewish parenting included the views of a Muslim who has in the past supported the extermination of Jews.

    “We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured a Jewish parent’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    “We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    “Be assured we will continue to put your human rights up for debate because we simply cannot understand why this would upset you.”

  6. A response which displays . . .

    “The ultimate in arrogance”

  7. ‘A spokesman said the BBC does not release the number when there is “evidence of a lobby”.’

    This isn’t the first time recently that the BBC has refused to listen to complaints because they believe that they are “organised” – as if, when people share information and activities through the internet and social networking, that automatically invalidates the point. This is intellectually dishonest on the part of the BBC and quite against the spirit of communication as it works today.

  8. I have yet to receive a reply about the compliant I made. I asked them to justify why they interviewed this person. Then I asked them before they respond to also let me know if they will interview a neo Nazi next time a celebrity Jewish couple have a baby or if it is a black or mixed race couple a white supremacist !!! If the answer is no then why interview this person if the answer is yes I want my license fee back.

  9. A spokesman said the BBC does not release the number when there is “evidence of a lobby”.

    They did release figures with the Sachsgate affair. As usual, more BBC dishonesty.

  10. I got the same mass produced answer, do they read the individual complaints at all?

  11. I got the standard response email. It failed to answer any of the points I made.

    Mr Green also believes that marital rape should not be a crime. I wonder if the BBC will interview him next time they report on a rape case?

  12. Jock S. Trap 5 Jan 2011, 2:22pm

    The fact they end a letter ‘BBC Audience Services’ shows they couldn’t care less abour our views. If they had it would have been a personal response.

    This just proves if the BBC cannot show more respect on who they choose to debate issues they are not worthy of demanding we pay a £145 a year licence fee.

    If they want to be devisive then let those who want this kind of television pay but through choose.

  13. This was my reply to the BBC.

    I did not give the BBC ‘feed-back’ I made a serious complaint.

    The BBC used a clip from Elton John that had been filmed previously and not specifically about the birth of his child. Stephen Green is the most unsuitable person possible to be used for ‘balance’ and the BBC should have understood that, and I believe did understand that. Green was picked quite deliberately to provoke the Gay community and is a further example of the institutional homophobia in the BBC.

    Your response is feeble, does not address the matter in hand and I will not accept it.

    I will take my complaint to the next level.

  14. I received the same canned response as well. I brought up other instances of homophobia on the BBC this week and none were mentioned. This was clearly a canned response and the BBC have dismissed this issue as an organised attempt to “lobby” them.

  15. Anyone from BBC Pride read Pink News?

  16. Ian Bower 5 Jan 2011, 3:27pm

    I didn’t get any response from the BBC.
    It always feels more natural to complain to the BBC than Ofcom. I admit that I never eaven thought about Ofcom.

  17. Ricardo S. 5 Jan 2011, 3:30pm

    Yes, this was the same damned standard reply I got from the BBC and I wrote back telling them it was complete rubbish. Haven’t heard back from Ofcom yet.

  18. I gfot the same response to my direct complaint to the BBC. It’s not good enough!

  19. gary scott 5 Jan 2011, 3:54pm

    I personally have sent this responce to it and put the complaint to 2nd level via the same link as before

    BBC audience services

    whilst I appreciate that over time you may have evenly addressed this issue the issue to hand is that you let
    fundamentalist Christian who has previously said that all gays should be killed amongst other things have prime
    time viewing on one of the most respected news programs in the UK. I look forward to your next coverage of a Jewish story
    being by a Nazi party because that would be fair and UN biased…..I don’t think you would then why do this to lbgt people. this report did not include any reference to
    his fundamentalist views and that of the organisation to which he belongs. further more the BBC seems hell bent on
    trying to make lbgt rights issues into a slagging match.

  20. Complaining to the BBC directly is always an utter waste of time as its evidenced by these pathetic automated responses.

    it’s better to complain to the BBC Trust; Ofcom and the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

    Does the BBC have a procedure for refunding the license fee?

    It is quite clear due to their refiusal to EVER action complaints about homophobia that they do not represent gay people.

    Therefore they cannot expect us to pay our license fee.

  21. “Last year, the corporation apologised after the BBC News website hosted a debate entitled ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’”

    The corporation did NOT apologise for holding the debate.

    they merely apologised for the headline.

    they still maintain that idebating on whether gay people shouild be murdered was a reasonable debate

  22. OK, so they interviewed an opposition exremist why didn’t they invite a ‘pro-gay extremist’ who is totally in favour of gay people doing everything, to me it seems no more utterly barking than inviting this hateful individual to spew his bile.

    If they wanted to actually portray an honest and open discussion on the issue (or parhaps not?) then they should obviously have gathered infromation and opinions from ALL spectrums of this particular rainbow.

  23. “Last year, the corporation apologised after the BBC News website hosted a debate entitled ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’”

    As David said – the BBC did not give a full and unreserved apology that such a serious mistake warranted. In fact their ‘apology’ aggravated the original offence.

  24. I also finally received a response from them today. It looks exactly the same as the one sent to everyone else.

    “Thank you for your feedback regarding the BBC News bulletin at 18:20, broadcast on 28 December 2010.

    We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

    We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services”

    I did reply to it though with this..

    “I’m totally in favour of a balanced report – that is the essence of good journalism.

    Extremists who condone mass genocide have no place in our society though and certainly should not be given interview airtime. You chose to interview him because
    no-one else answered your calls – probably due to the holidays. This is still no excuse to give anyone condoning mass genocide interview time.

    Your ‘balanced’ report failed to provide the public with the complete picture of Stephen Green. Presumably you did that purposely too because it would show that the report was truly not in fact balanced at all.

    You may argue that Elton and David being gay had nothing to do with it and it was just the issue of surrogacy you wished to cover. Choosing an anti gay person for the
    ‘against’ side is hardly fair. Of course Stephen Green is going to be against surrogacy for Elton and David. If he had his way he’d have them both shot too – along with all
    other gay people in existence.

    Just what sort of ‘balance’ would you display if a mix-raced couple had a surrogate child? There are extremists against that too who equally deserve no airtime. Perhaps you would interview a member of the Klu Klux Klan or the English Defense League?

    Would you do this? No, you wouldn’t because you would not wish to upset mixed raced people – and quite rightly so. You only see fit to upset gay people – and the statistics prove it.

    Here’s yet another example. Prince William and Kate Middleton announcing their engagement. Republicans are hardly bad people. Their issue is not one about race, religion or sexual orientation. The highly respected Claire Raynor (RIP) was in favour of abolition of the monarchy. In the interest of ‘balance’ though you failed to interview a prominent republican
    about it?

    The fact is not all of your reports are balanced. As I stated earlier statistically the BBC is well known for misrepresentation of gay people. Of all UK channels the BBC receives far more complaints about your attitude to gay people than anyone else.

    I want you to broadcast an apology for including Stephen Green in your report. If you fail to apologise for his appearance then I’ll continue this matter with Ofcom.”

  25. I didn’t get a response as I ticked the box saying I didn’t want one. I must have known it would be pointless. After all I am just part of a lobby, not a real person. I should have read The Telegraph and then complained maybe if I got my news from a “balanced” source I then wouldn’t be part of a lobby?

  26. What really concerns me is the inability of the BBC to address the concerns. Its not the alternative view that is the cause for concern, its the type of view that they sought.

    Nobody would of worried if it was a mainstream Christian voice say a baptist minister or CofE vicar. No the BBC sought the most anti gay voice in the UK and that most definitely is a discriminatory action on thee BBC’s part.

    I am unhappy at the BBC response and have now complained to the BBC trust.

  27. Bill (Scotland) 5 Jan 2011, 6:22pm

    I did not submit a complaint to the BBC because I believed it would be pointless – as the responses received by those who did lodge a complaint sadly confirm.

    What is really required is for the BBC in its present form to be abolished. As a [coerced] licence fee payer I feel that this institution has long outlived whatever usefulness it may have had. Incidentally it is clear that prominent individuals who have publically announced their refusal to pay their licence fee because of some specific reason have NEVER been prosecuted – the threat to take people to court is basically a sham, except for those too poor and ignorant to stand up to these bullies. I refer specifically to Telegraph journalist Charles Moore who announced he would not pay his licence fee whilst Jonathan Ross remained in employment with the BBC (the Ross/Brand/Sachs incident refers) and he was of course never prosecuted. Moore has, I understand, started to pay his licence fee again now that Ross is no longer on the BBC.

    I’m not sure whether I personally have the ‘courage’ to take the stance that Moore did over the Stephen Green appearance, but I’m definitiely thinking about it. Perhaps if a lot of us did individually make a stand (and make a public noise about it), then the BBC might take it more seruiously. I hope Jeremy Hunt is as tough on the BBC as he has promised to be, when the licence comes up for discussion in the next couple of years.

  28. I also received the same response today and am pretty miffed. I took the time to make a thoughtful complaint, after viewing the report, with specific questions and asking for specific answers.

    I got a generic response and now discover that they are suggesting there’s been a “lobby”. Sorry, beeb, I’m my own person and I made the complaint off my own bat without following any template. When I was working there, my department would never have responded to a complaint in this way – it’s plain rude. However, as I posted on an earlier story, my department would not have used Green in the way the lazy report did without letting people know who he was and where he was coming from.

    A couple of years ago, James naughtie eviscerated green on the today programme. I feel like a Daily Mail reader for saying this, but standards really do seem to be slipping at the BBC.

  29. PinkPolitico 5 Jan 2011, 6:49pm

    I also received this standard, automated reply today and like many others found it to be completely unsatisfactory.

    My reply:

    This response in no way addresses my concerns or those expressed by the many others in the LGBT community and beyond who were absolutely horrified that any mainstream media organisation and especially one funded through the public purse would offer a platform to such an extremist figure who supports the genocide of people based on their sexuality. Furthermore, Mr Green is entirely unrepresentative of even religious opinion in the UK and doesn’t speak for any meaningful constituency so the questions arises as to why he would be sought to provide an “alternative” point of view rather than a more mainstream conservative voice?

    You also fail to make clear how going to Mr Green and asking for his opinion on this matter is any different to soliciting the views of a white supremacist on the birth of a child (through surrogacy or otherwise) to a mixed race couple. It seems that the BBC regards homophobia (even calling for the death of gay people) to be a legitimate viewpoint in a way that it does not view other forms of bigotry. Why do you adopt such a clear double standard in this regard?

    The inclusion of Mr Green in your piece is what I found most objectionable, but I must also take issue with the notion that this item required two points of view. This was a personal and not political event so why the need for “balance”? It was newsworthy simply because of the public profile of Elton John and should not have been seen as an excuse to manufacture a debate and facilitate the views of an extremely marginal figure with little following among the public at large.

    As a gay man, I am also deeply troubled that the BBC seems to think that every issue involving an LGBT person or issue requires the inclusion of a homophobic point of view. This latest incident must be seen in the context of the BBC also causing outrage in the gay community on previous occasions such as when it was seen as acceptable to ask people if homosexuals should be executed (!)

    There are serious issues to be addressed as regards your treatment of our community and I hope some action will be undertaken on your part to address these concerns. The feeling of outrage that this (and indeed previous incidents) has generated in the LGBT community should not be underestimated.

  30. Cancel the payment for the TV license and ignore the letters the BBC send saying you dont have a TV license.

    Then they might listen……

  31. The formula BBC responses are not good enough and perhaps it is time to be more direct with our protest?

    Lobbying the government to sanction state sponsored execution of BBC journalists as a mark of dissatisfaction with the way they conduct themselves professionally is too extreme? At least it would ensure we got air time on the BBC news – strictly as part of their quest for balanced reporting, obviously.

    We should perhaps take a more ‘active’ role in getting airtime?

    These two fabulous women could teach us a thing or two about how to get in front of a BBC camera and put your point across…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YRykjr0hMM

    (Note that I selected the ITN report on the incident as the BBC one is far less satisfactory, ignoring anything to do with the reasons for the protest and failing to properly interview the women involved. nothing changes there then eh?)

  32. Same standard response sent to me. Have asked for it to be escalated on the grounds that it doesn’t address any of the points I raised.

    Will keep you posted about response to this. Will contact BBC Board.

    Haven’t heard anything from OFCOM yet.

  33. Why don’t you people grow up? So somebody has a different opinion to yours. All this fuss over what one guy has to say. You are making yourselves look ridiculous.

  34. I sent a long complaint to the BBC about its institutional homophobia and, among about ten other things (including the failure to report on the murder of a gay teenager in Liverpool), I commented on the Elton John story.

    It was ONE point I made. And yet guess what? I received the same standard response as everyone else. They obviously didn’t read my complaint at all – merely scanned it for the words ‘Elton John’ and ‘Stephen Green’ and put it in an inbox marked ‘complaints from gay people – ignore.’

  35. @Flossy… *deep breath*

    Actually, I’m going to ignore you… I am completely tired of trying to have a balanced argument with people such as yourself, so yes, you are completely right, we should all ‘grow up’ tss, what silly people we are!

  36. It seems that we all received the same standard “sod off” response. Their response is condescending and dismissive in the extreme. I made a number of points about institutionalised homophobia and bigotry, none of which were answered.

    I am unable to find the specific bit in the BBC Charter, but one of their fundamental responsibilities is to respond to complaints individually and completely. I believe the BBC has actually breached its charter.

  37. Flossie wrote
    “Why don’t you people grow up? So somebody has a different opinion to yours. All this fuss over what one guy has to say. You are making yourselves look ridiculous.”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Flossie . . . It is odd that you remain clueless as to why so many people are angry!

    Flossie . . . Why does Stephen Green have a right to opinions which express a call for the murder of gay men?

    Flossie . . . Why are Mr Greens views acceptable to you?

  38. @Flossie — you think it’s unreasonable to object to a man who calls for the death penalty for gay people, who thinks marital rape should be legal, giving his opinion on national television ?

    It’s not the fact he has opinions that run counter to ours, it’s the nature of those opinions. Your post suggests you think it immature to argue against other people’s opinions if you object to them. You never do presumably ? You just blindly accept whatever other people’s opinions — regardless of how abhorrent they are ?

    So I imagine you have no problem with the opinions of someone like Nick Griffin ? You presumably either agree with him, or would never stand against his opinions, because you consider it immature to so do.

  39. Just to warn you guys – if you don’t pay your license, it’s likely that they will do something about it. I have family who just do not own a TV, and they had someone come round to their house to search for rogue televisions whose licenses they were not paying. So, I mean, go for it, but be prepared for the knock at the door.

  40. I have posted this on a couple of related threads which I know can be annoying, so feel free to ignore it, but I thought it might be helpful:

    Here is the complaint I sent to Ofcom (as there is clearly no point whatsoever complaining to the BBC)… I know it’s a little stilted but there was a character limit and I had lots to say!!

    This programme contained an item on Elton John’s new son. It consisted of an old clip of Elton John discussing surrogacy, followed by an interview with homophobe Stephen Green.
    I would like to express concern about this:
    – Stephen Green is an extremist Christian and believes gay people should be murdered. This was not mentioned in the report, and his opinion was presented as valid. To put this into context: when Dawn French and Lennie Henry adopted their child, the BBC did not interview a member of the KKK.
    – The BBC repeatedly offends the LGBT community. It would never tolerate similar abuse towards racial minorities (eg abusive slang).
    – The item itself was not a debate, but an entertainment piece. For every item the BBC reports, it does not have an interview with someone who disagrees with it.
    To compound this, the BBC responded to my complaint with an automated reply which did not address any of my issues,
    According to a news report, the BBC refuses to release complaint figures where there is lobbying. While I am aware of the internet campaign, this does not mean the point is invalid. People are communicating in the normal manner and gathering together to protest (much like a street protest .)
    While we are forced to pay the licence fee, the BBC has a responsibility to protect minorities rather than pandering to the prejudiced. I sincerely hope Ofcom will take action.

  41. Harry: “It’s not the fact he has opinions that run counter to ours, it’s the nature of those opinions.”

    I disagree. There will always be crackpots like Green running around spouting their warped opinions to anyone stupid enough to listen. We’ve all known this guy for years, and most simply dismiss him with the contempt he deserves.

    The crux of the matter is, this is about the BBC, a publicly funded corporation that we, the British taxpayer, pay for, and it is being abused by those at the top to try to gain cheap ratings points by producing confrontational political arguments about what should have been a minor celebrity news article.

    I don’t actually see them as homophobic, but they are willing to stir up any wasp’s nest in order to gain more viewers.

  42. “I don’t actually see them as homophobic, but they are willing to stir up any wasp’s nest in order to gain more viewers.”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Spanner . . . in what way is calling for the murder of gay men, not actually homophobic?

  43. 21stCenturySpirituality 5 Jan 2011, 11:09pm

    ‘…evidence of a lobby..’ what kind of a nonsense answer is that? I think its time for a look at the Freedom Of Information Act.

  44. @Spanner — of course yes. What I wrote was more in response to Flossie’s comment.

    Yes for sure there are — at least — two issues here.

  45. I guess the Stonewall consultation to the BBC has ensured the sham LGBT organisations silence.

    Too busy counting the money the BBC gave them to comment I guess!

  46. ‘A spokesman said the BBC does not release the number when there is “evidence of a lobby”.’

    How interesting. The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee says “The practice of lobbying in order to influence political decisions is a legitimate and necessary part of the democratic process. Individuals and organizations reasonably want to influence decisions that may affect them, those around them, and their environment. Government in turn needs access to the knowledge and views that lobbying can bring.”

    This is of course about political lobbying of a goverment. But it seems quite a reasonable principle for a large organization to employ.

  47. I have resubmitted my complaint as below to the BBC.

    I have received a reply to my complaint regarding the Stephen Green contribution to the news item broadcast on the 28th Dec 2010. I am not satisfied with the reply in any regard and wish to reiterate my complaint and add to that my objection to the reply I have received from the BBC, frankly it’s insulting to have so serious a matter dealt with in so glib and patronising a response. Please reconsider my complaint and revert.

  48. But stonewall (BS) have been fairly critical of the BBC …… thy’re not my favorite gay org but is there more that they should/could be doing … there is more will/energy to do something from them in this area than marriage equality at least! –
    what further actions etc are stonewall doing about BBC’s attitudes to LGBT people? In fact I’m sure I read a recent article about Stonewall saying how much easier surrogacy had got in the UK so it’s surprising there was no comment from them on either Elton or the BBC interview with SG…..Like it or not BS’s comments still get published as the voice of the British LGBT community!

  49. I received the standard response. How do I complain to ofcom?

    From: complaintresponse@bbc.co.uk
    Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 12:17:35 +0000
    Subject: Complaint Response
    Thank you for your feedback regarding the BBC News bulletin at 18:20, broadcast on 28 December 2010.

    We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

    We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
    Kind Regards
    BBC Audience Services

  50. HOW TO COMPLAIN TO OFFCOM

    Below is a link to the OFFCOM complaints section on their website, complaints can be made by filling in their online form facility.

    https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/specific-programme-epg

  51. @Nacho — the BBC has a three stage process. Have a look on their complaints page http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/ and the process page http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml#code .

    OFCOM allow you to complain about a specific programme ( see http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/tv-and-radio/ ).

    I suspect to complain to OFCOM about the BBC response to what you originally sent them, you must have gone through the complete BBC complaint process.

  52. I think I’ll just look into my crystal ball. The response from Ofcom will be…..the BBC have done nothing wrong!

    They are no better than the BBC.

  53. JohnK: “Spanner . . . in what way is calling for the murder of gay men, not actually homophobic?”

    I was referring to the BBC, not Green.

  54. I got the standard response – extremely patronising and purposely missed the point.

    Did they have an ‘opposite point of view’ from a anti-Semitic person when they announced the birth of twins to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick? Anyone remember? Because I’m pretty sure that I never saw them broadcast one. Surely in order to be ‘balanced’ they should have interviewed a neo-Nazi?

    I’ll be complaining again and again until the BBC get the message – treat gay people like you would any other minority and stop promoting the idea my rights are somehow up for discussion.

  55. But stonewall (BS) have been fairly critical of the BBC …… thy’re not my favourite gay org but is there more that they should/could be doing … there is more will/energy to do something from them in this area than marriage equality at least! –
    what further actions etc are stonewall doing about BBC’s attitudes to LGBT people? In fact I’m sure I read a recent article about Stonewall saying how much easier surrogacy had got in the UK so it’s surprising there was no comment from them on either Elton or the BBC interview with SG…..Like it or not BS’s comments still get published as the voice of the British LGBT community! – john

    They claim to be a leading voice but they are very silent on this and marriage equality. I’m surprised you are brought so cheaply with a few weasel words and no action!

    Stonewalled only make a nose and act when they can see a profit in it for them.

    BS is a establishment stodge he has no interest in full equality, just in keeping the establishment in power. In many ways BS is politicly BI as he can be red, blue or yellow just as long as they all wear the old school tie.

  56. George Broadhead 6 Jan 2011, 9:55am

    I repeat the comment I made on a previious Pink News report about this:

    “Readers should realise that the BBC is totally biased in favour of religion, in particular Christianity. Its religious affairs departments
    spend millions of pounds annually promoting it – just think of the vast obsequious coverage given to the Pope’s visit. It is hardly surprising,
    therefore, that it feels it imperative whenever it reports something it deems morally contentious, to invite a Christian to comment. Unfortunately
    Stephen Green seems to have taken the place of the late Mary Whitehouse who was frequently asked to comment on such issues.”

  57. But George

    It also needs to be pointed out again and again, that even though Mary Whitehouse was a homophobic witch; at least she did not publicly advocate the execution of gay people like Green does.

  58. @Spanner . . . the BBC have given Mr Green a platform to express his views,

    In what way are the BBC not implicitly homophobic through their actions?

  59. Response received from BBC:
    Many thanks for your email. It’s one of a number we’ve received about
    the coverage of this story, and we hope to feature these complaints on
    this week’s edition of the Newswatch programme.

  60. we hope to feature these complaints on this week’s edition of the Newswatch programme.

    Probably in the hope of getting a lot of people writing in to support the BBC’s actions.

  61. ..or to save them actually replying to us individually.

  62. The ‘execute homosexuals’ debate was, in my view, a more serious breach of ethics, but I don’t recall any Newswatch discussion when that happened.

    Newswatch is part of the BBC’s apparatus which it uses to maintain its dominance in any controversy. Anyone who’s thinking of taking part should consider that we know the BBC is not impartial, and that certain elements in management have their own agenda.

  63. I think you will find that Stephen Green did NOT call for the execution of gays – but who cares, when you can make a big fuss about it anyhow.

    The BBC and other media will always look for a ‘rent-a-gob’ for a bit of opposition to any story. Look how they wheel out that puffed up popinjay Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society (membership about 10) whenever any item on religion comes up in the news.

    It would be more dignified, and make yourselves look less childishly self-centred and demanding, to simply ignore it. I think you will find that these constant demands for your rights to trump everybody else’s will have the opposite effect of what you desire.

  64. Further to my refusal to accept the first response to my initial complaint I replied that I wanted the BBC to reconsider and reply as per the terms of their procedures, this is what they sent to me.

    Reference CAS-515215

    Thank you for your feedback regarding the BBC News bulletin at 18:20, broadcast on 28 December 2010.

    We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

    We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    Mark Horgan
    BBC Complaints
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

    Beyond contemptable!

  65. Christine Beckett 6 Jan 2011, 12:16pm

    Flossie said… ” think you will find that Stephen Green did NOT call for the execution of gays – but who cares, when you can make a big fuss about it anyhow.”

    Flossie is wrong.

    In reference to the Uganda issue, Stephen Green said…

    “‘I do not like the idea of putting anyone to death, but I have to recognise that the Bible calls for the ultimate penalty for sodomy (Lev 20:13) and for rape (Deut 22:25) as maximum penalties, and that our Lord upheld the death penalty when He called for the accusers of the woman caught in adultery to cast the first stone (John 8:7) – …

    However many ways one might try and twist his words, he is clearly supporting the killing of gays.

    chrissie

  66. @Flossie — “I think you will find that Stephen Green did NOT call for the execution of gays.”

    But he has expressed support for the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), and its associated penalty of death, claiming “The Bible calls for the ultimate penalty for sodomy… A Parliamentarian in Uganda is trying to protect his nation’s children.”

    I think that amounts to the same thing. Can you furnish us with a reliable statement from Stephen Green saying he does not support the death penalty for gay people ? What’s your position Flossie ? Do think gay people have the right to live ?

    “It would be more dignified, and make yourselves look less childishly self-centred and demanding, to simply ignore it.”. And by not opposing one supports. No. One ignores trivial matters Flossie. Calling for the death of a group of people isn’t trivial. Or perhaps you think it is ?

    “I think you will find that these constant demands for your rights to trump everybody else’s”. What people on this forum are calling for is the right of equality; the right to not have to justify their existence. And what are you calling for Flossie ? The right to believe that gay people can be killed ? The right to not be challenged ?

    ” … but who cares, when you can make a big fuss about it anyhow”. I care. I care when someone seeks to create a context where they can decide on whether other people can live or die ? I care when people seek to deny me the rights they enjoy. I will make a big fuss about this.

    So. You’ve told us what we think. What do you think Flossie ? Gay people — what rights do you think they should have ?

  67. Flossie – Stephen Green supports the ‘right’ of a husband to rape his wife.

    You do acknowledge (I hope) that if the BBC wheeled Green out to comment on any news report they do concerning rape, then there would be utter outrage.

    Why apply a double standard when it comes to Green supporting executuon for gay people?

    Are you a homophobe? Or do you also think Green should be the pro-rape voice within the BBC?

  68. Flossie Wrote
    “It would be more dignified, and make yourselves look less childishly self-centred and demanding, to simply ignore it.”

    JohnK response
    Flossie . . . What is childish about complaining about the BBC giving voice to an extremist

    Flossie. . . What is Self-centred about challenging a man who has called for the murder of gay men

    Flossie . . . What is more dignified fighting injustice, or sticking your head in the sand

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Flossie Wrote
    “I think you will find that these constant demands for your rights to trump everybody else’s will have the opposite effect of what you desire.”

    JohnK response
    Flossie . . . If your Christianity is only built on the suppression of Gay rights, I think you will find that Jesus will trump your right to use his name to promote hatred.

  69. @Flossie — ” … National Secular Society (membership about 10) … ”

    Why do you say it’s 10 ? Any evidence for it ? Do you base all of your views or only some of them on made up data ?

    Still looking forward to your comment telling us whether you just blindly accept whatever other people’s opinions — regardless of how abhorrent they are ?

  70. “The BBC and other media will always look for a ‘rent-a-gob’ for a bit of opposition to any story. Look how they wheel out that puffed up popinjay Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society…”

    Flossie, we all seemed to have missed the BBC item where Terry Sanderson commented on the birth of a child to a religious celebrity. Maybe you could link us?

  71. @Flossie :
    “the National Secular Society (membership about 10) ”

    Absolute nonsense.

  72. Flossie . . . desperation by numbers, is quite frankly . . . lame to say the least .

  73. Though I’m (still, just about) a fan of the BBC, it’s clear that they are in the wrong on this. The same issue came before the courts in HK because of a documentary on the problems faced by young gays, when the Broadcasting Authority fined the station for not including a conservative Christian viewpoint. On Judicial Review of the decision, the Judge made it clear that impartiality does not mean always putting an opposing view, but can also mean presenting the subject matter without bias or prejudice.

    See in particular paras 72 onwards:

    “71. In short, somewhat surprisingly, there is a requirement that all programmes dealing with factual issues – effectively all non-fiction programmes – must preserve due impartiality if they deal with matters of ‘public policy’ or ‘controversial issues of public importance’.  I say that the requirement is somewhat surprising because, for example, not all matters of ‘public policy’ can, in any sensible way, allow for due impartiality if that term is to mean that ‘both sides of the story’ must always be put.  How are ‘both sides of the story’ to be put in an RTHK programme dealing with the fight against bird flu or child slavery?

    72. In this very regard, RTHK’s Producers’ Guidelines makes the following observation which, in my view, must be entirely in accord with the dictates in our society of the protection of freedom of speech and freedom of expression :

    “Due impartiality also does not require absolute neutrality on every issue of public concern or detachment from such fundamental principles as freedom, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law – principles which are essential to a just and open society.  We will be failing in our duty if in the attempt to upset no-one, to disturb no institution, we limit the comprehensiveness and open examination of issues and events.”

    73. The concept of ‘impartiality’ is a broad concept.  In my judgment, a code of practice that requires all factual programmes dealing with matters of public policy or controversial public issues to be appropriately impartial may still comply with the constitutional requirement to uphold freedom of speech and expression if the term is given a broad and suitably equitable meaning.

    74. The word ‘impartial’ encompasses, of course, the concept of being balanced, of not favouring one side more than another.  In certain circumstances, that may in a television programme demand the putting of both sides of the story.  But the word also means ‘unprejudiced, unbiased, fair’ : The Shorter Oxford Dictionary (6th Ed).

    75. Impartiality, therefore, may demand no more than that the subject matter is dealt with fairly; that no prejudice is shown – either for or against – matters that are portrayed.  Indeed, it may be said that such treatment is one of the hallmarks of documentary film-making. ”

    For the judgement see
    http://legalref.judiciary.gov.hk/lrs/common/ju/ju_frame.jsp?DIS=61024&currpage=T

    For the whole story see http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/2008/01/04/1982.what-lies-behind-siu-chos-struggle-in-rthk-case
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Society_For_Truth_And_Light

  74. Okay, so I exaggerated – the NSS numbers around 7,000 members as far as I can ascertain – a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the 42 million who identify as Christian, around 2 million Muslims and countless other faith groups. So tiny and unrepresentative, in fact, that Sanderson does not deserve to get the prime coverage which he does. But that is merely my opinion; the BBC likes him, and I would not dream of whipping up hysterical email campaigns to ban him, obnoxious as I find him.

    I cannot see that Stephen Green is calling for the execution of gays. That is just stupid. No Christian wants to see anybody executed. Besides, do you think that we are going to start executing gays in this country on the say-so of Stephen Green? Are you really that scared of him?

    You are never going to get everybody to agree that ‘manufacturing’ a baby to fulfil the selfish desires of middle-aged men is a good idea, nor is it a good idea to deliberately deprive a child of a mother (or a father). You will just have to get used to that. Let’s hope that little Zachary doesn’t grow up to be litigious – how long before someone sues for deliberate deprivation of one parent?

    If they didn’t wheel out Stephen Green they would (quite rightly) wheel out somebody else – so you would have another hate figure to vent your spleen on.

  75. @Flossie — you’re comparing apples and pairs aren’t you ? You’re comparing the number of people who have joined a single secular organization with the number of people who profess to be Christian. A fairer comparison would have been between the number of people who profess to be aethiest and those who profess to be Christian, or between the number of people who have joined any secular organization and the number who attend a place of worship. What do you think ?

    You say you can’t see that Stephen Green is calling for the execution of gays. But he did support the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), and its associated penalty of death, claiming “The Bible calls for the ultimate penalty for sodomy”.

    I can’t see how this is much different from calling for the execution of gay people. Please explain what the difference you see is. What do you think he means by the phrase ‘ultimate penalty’ ? Why is supporting death for gay people in one country different from supporting it in another ? Are gay Ugandans more deserving of the ‘ultimate penalty’ that gay Britons ? What about gay Ugandans that have become naturalized British citizens ?

    You say “No Christian wants to see anybody executed.” This is clearly not true. For example, Christian Voice have a press release:

    http://christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press095.html

    from 29 July 2008 which begins:

    “A Christian group is calling for the restoration of the death penalty for those convicted on what it describes as ‘overwhelming evidence’.”

    Christian Voice is the organization that Stephen Green speaks for. Are you actually aware of what they stand for ? Have you read their website ? You’re making sweeping general statements that take seconds to disprove; you make up membership figures for opposing organizations — why don’t you just do a lal research before commenting ? If you’re hoping to persuade anyone here, I really think having some evidence, and marshalling your arguments in your own mind first would be a more effective strategy. What do you think ?

  76. @Flossie, I am replying to your ill witted comments in the quotes.

    “I cannot see that Stephen Green is calling for the execution of gays. That is just stupid.”

    He supports the kill-the-gays bill in Uganda. Read other comments above mine.

    “No Christian wants to see anybody executed.”

    Actually, yes they do. This man is an example. By fact, every Christian wants to see someone executed – read the bible. Everything gets you killed. Why do you think executions are so popular?

    “Besides, do you think that we are going to start executing gays in this country on the say-so of Stephen Green? ”

    No, not in this country. However, his views are being used as evidence to pass the Uganda bill. Numorous anti-gay English and American writers are getting quoted by Ugandans as evidence of why this kill-the-gays bill makes sense.

    “Are you really that scared of him?”

    Yes. Extremists have a way of doing that. It isn’t shameful to fear someone who is calling for your death. Ugandan gays do not deserve to die because you let Green do the talking of views YOU actually have.

    “You are never going to get everybody to agree that ‘manufacturing’ a baby to fulfil the selfish desires of middle-aged men is a good idea,”

    Dehumanizing much? For such a Christian, you sure sound against the rights of a child. I am glad that my standards of the right to live are not influences by a fictional book – I might start saying manufactured babies don’t count!

    ” … how long before someone sues for deliberate deprivation of one parent?”

    Never, since same-sex parenting has been proven equal to opposite-sex parenting. Lesbian couples actually have better children than straight couples, according to the study.

    I would go on, but I have to go to Church and get stoned by your God.

  77. You say “No Christian wants to see anybody executed.” This is clearly not true. For example, Christian Voice have a press release:

    http://christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press095.html

    from 29 July 2008 which begins:

    “A Christian group is calling for the restoration of the death penalty for those convicted on what it describes as ‘overwhelming evidence’.”

    Good point. Perhaps Flossie will now agree that Stephen Green is not a Christian?

  78. Jock S. Trap 6 Jan 2011, 2:58pm

    @ a clearly uneducated Flossie

    The fact that any human being openly suggests the murder of some people he doesn’t happen to like is more than enough reason for that person not to be publised. It’s not a case of ‘being scared’ of him. This is unacceptable in any society.

    Would the BBC allow him to debate on a husband raping his wife with his views that he should be allowed to without prosecution? No they wouldn’t because that would be wrong.

    So why the double standards. It suggests that some in society don’t matter. Why should I have to hear from someone who thinks I should be murdered?

    As for the comment “I think you will find that these constant demands for your rights to trump everybody else’s will have the opposite effect of what you desire.”

    Easy words from someone who has all the rights, who are not being treated like second class citizens just because you can’t get your heads out of the sewer. If all workers are expected to pay taxes equally then why is it right that some of those have to be treated differently? Everyone has the right to be treated equally no matter how you want to dress it up.

    We are human beings with the right to be who we are and find love with who we are attracted to. It is you flossie and your kind who feel you have the right put limits on people just because you can’t stop thinking about anything other than sex… Pervert!

  79. Can’t we just stop paying TV licence, since we don’t want to subsidise bigotry?

  80. “You are never going to get everybody to agree that ‘manufacturing’ a baby to fulfil the selfish desires of middle-aged men is a good idea, nor is it a good idea to deliberately deprive a child of a mother (or a father)”

    Every person desiring a child is ‘selfish’. What? You think straight people have children for altruistic reasons?

    No-one here is arguing that people aren’t entitled to their opinion about surrogacy, let me say this again because you’re finding it hard to understand, it seems. The problem is DOUBLE STANDARDS. Sarah Jessica Parker (for example) had a child through surrogacy – did they have an opposing views for that? No, they simply reported the happy news. Liz Hurley had a child before she was married – did they wheel out some Christian to say how much they disagreed with that? No, they simply reported the birth of the child without comment. They should have done the same for Elton and David.

    Still waiting for your link to a BBC item with Terry Sanderson commenting on the birth of a child to a religious celebrity.

  81. @Flossie – “You are never going to get everybody to agree that ‘manufacturing’ a baby to fulfil the selfish desires of middle-aged men is a good idea, nor is it a good idea to deliberately deprive a child of a mother (or a father)”.

    When you say ‘manufacturing’ are you trying to imply a vague sense of wrongness ? What has his age got to do with anything ? Are you saying that middle-aged men have less entitlement than people of other ages ? What’s selfish about his wanting children ?

    Why do you think a child with two fathers is disadvantaged ? Do you have any reason for thinking that ? Is it just a strong feeling you have Flossie ?

  82. @Flossie

    Mr Green calls for the murder of gays

    Mr Sandersons has never singled out any person for extermination

    Flossie . . . when are you going to repent of your murderous heart of stone?

  83. Flossie, I find it rather ironic that you accuse other commenters of “making yourselves look ridiculous”.

    “…these constant demands for your rights to trump everybody else’s…”

    I beg your pardon – *whose* rights do you think are put in jeopardy in the pursuit of LGBT equality?

  84. 21stCenturySpirituality 6 Jan 2011, 6:50pm

    @ Flossie….can you explain please how complaining about an interview on a publicly funded television channel on a story relating to a high profile gay couple with a religious extremist who has publicly advocated the killing of gay men and women, equated being gay with being a serial killer, and who regularly mounts campaigns to trample in the rights of others to freedom of speech, thought, conscience and expression, amounts to a demand for special rights for gay people?

  85. Flossie, someone else who leaves comments usually says the same things as you are. He calls himself spanner. He’s a right wing homophobic gay bigot, just like you. Anyway, thanks for all your advice. Now FuOK OFF.

    And as for your wiki search 42 million christians figure, maybe you should take a look at my wiki search church attendance figures – falling, falling, falling, falling. Soon to be zero.

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/11080

    christianity is dead in the UK, and the majority of people in this country are sick of the smell of its rotting corpse.

  86. Michael Chafe 6 Jan 2011, 7:58pm

    The very fact that they called it a debate is unacceptable. Sir Elton John and his partner having a child together is a blessing. They have given a child a warm loving home, and should be a “lighter side of the news”, not a debate to be discussed like whether or not we should go to war in Iraq. I feel the BBC had no right to call it a debate. There weren’t protesters outside his house, nor was anyone injured. It may have been considered controversial for some people, but accepted by most, and considered ground-breaking news for the rest.

  87. Alan Donald 6 Jan 2011, 11:07pm

    I got this:

    Dear Mr Donald

    Thank you for your feedback regarding the BBC News bulletin at 18:20, broadcast on 28 December 2010.

    We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green.

    We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John’s thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner.

    We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services

  88. Alan Donald 6 Jan 2011, 11:34pm

    I’ve sent a reply. I included the case number and their reply and then the following:

    please may I confirm the following:

    1) If this was a mixed race adoption/surrogate that you would find the most offensive, racist person possible to present an opposing view. Some have suggested Nick Griffin but he does not match the level you set with this individual. The person concerned would have to be openly and aggressively racist and have called for the murder of all black people.

    2) Will you be including ignorance and bigotry in all future broadcasts for the sake of balance? Will you be interviewing holocaust deniers when you next do a piece on the Second World War? Will you bring flat Earthers on when you talk about space travel? Will you bring on religious fundementalist idiots from the deep south of America if you talk about DNA or evolution (I’d say Christians but all mainstream Christian churches accept evolution now)?

    I am not being silly or petulant here. I want an honest answer and NOT ANOTHER FOB OFF.

    You are the BBC and you have a position in the World to upkeep. How dare you squander my Fee money in an attempt to become more like the horrific broadcasting of Fox News in the US? How dare you! The BBC was the most hit website in America following 9-11 because they knew you’d tell the truth even if some found it uncomfortable. You are not the BBC I recognise if you feel you have to bring on someone who claims HIV is God’s punishment on gays and that all gay people should be killed in order to give some kind of “balance” to your broadcasts.

    You make me sick and I want a full and frank response from a senior official not a machine.

    How dare you!

  89. Stephen Andrews 7 Jan 2011, 1:04am

    Unfortunately Alan you wont get the honest answer, the one where the BBC admits they are a homophobic tax funded organisation.

    This is what I have done.

    Cancelled my direct debit TV license…..simple.

    Arm yourself with the required legal information. Be prepared to get bombarded with threatening letter after threatening letter. Be prepared for the odd TV detector person (contracted to Captiva)…..do not answer the door or tell the person to remove themselves from your property. Sign nothing and say nothing…..a nightmare I know but I know for one thing, I will not pay to watch a program to be insulted.

    If and when the BBC decides to apologise for this interview with a far right extremist and stops this back door homophobic reporting then I will purchase a TV license, until then I have a fight on my hands and one I will enjoy knowing I am not funding a homophobic institution !!

  90. Check out Newswatch and see if they have anything to say regarding complaints about Stephen Green.

    Today, 20:45 on BBC News Channel
    07/01/2011
    Viewers’ opinions on the coverage of major stories by BBC News.

  91. Alan Donald 7 Jan 2011, 10:37pm

    Stephen the only issue is that to cancel the direct debit would just lead to a world of more problems and there is no way that the message would get across…

    Mind you neither will my letter.

  92. The government has now published their response to the consultation on the Public Sector Equality Duty (which requires public bodies to promote equality), and their proposed list of public bodies to which they intend it to apply. The content of BBC and Channel Four, are excluded. There is no information on why. They do not bother to say.

    > The Government will be finalising the draft Order amending
    > Schedule 19 to the Equality Act [ .DOC at
    > http://tinyurl.com/6g5cj7v ], which sets out the list of public
    > bodies to which the general Equality Duty will apply, and laying
    > it before Parliament for debate in late January 2011.

    The draft order says:
    |
    | 1. After the entry for “the armed forces” insert the following
    | headings and entries—
    |
    | Broadcasting
    |
    | The British Broadcasting Corporation (“BBC”), except in respect
    | of functions relating to the provision of a content service
    | (within the meaning given by section 32(7) of the Communications
    | Act 2003()); and the reference to the BBC includes a reference
    | to a body corporate which—
    |
    | (a) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC,
    |
    | (b) is not operated with a view to generating a profit, and
    |
    | (c) undertakes activities primarily in order to promote the
    | BBC’s public purposes.
    |
    | The Channel 4 Television Corporation, except in respect of—
    |
    | (a) functions relating to the provision of a content service
    | (within the meaning given by section 32(7) of the Communications
    | Act 2003), and
    |
    | (b) the function of carrying on the activities referred to in
    | section 199 of that Act().
    |
    | The Welsh Authority (as defined by section 56(1) of the
    | Broadcasting Act 1990()), except in respect of functions
    | relating to the provision of a content service (within the
    | meaning given by section 32(7) of the Communications Act 2003).

    This would be the time to raise this with MPs and in the media.

  93. @ Dave North:
    Oh. The delicious irony……

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351585/Stephen-Green-rails-immorality-voice-Christian-Britan-private-wife-beater-says-partner.html

    Thanks for the link Dave, we always knew the man wasn’t right in the head and now there’s this first person witness account from his ex-wife.

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