Great article. Thanks. I too have been astounded by the pandering of the media to the “sincerely held beliefs” of a bunch of deluded and frightened right-wingers. Are the media stirring, do you think? At least Twitter is comfortingly ranty and intolerant of the prigs themselves and of the media that gives them a platform.
They need “protections” from the nasty homosexuals who have a “terrifying” equal rights agenda.
Yet again we must ask the question: would they be talking like this if it were misogyny or racism at issue?
Would the “sincerely held beliefs” of racists and misogynists be assumed to deserve protection?
Of course not. And neither should homophobia. It really is that simple.
Uh, yeah, the beliefs of misogynists are treated to the annual round of “are men suffering (the poor dears) now that women aren’t quite so subjugated?” and “do women really crave the kitchen” stories and a great many other solemn nods. And racists who own up to it get stomped, but all they have to do is talk about “immigrants” and “Islam” to cloak their racism enough for it to get the solemnly-nodding-along treatment too.
Except that the kind of clueless MRA nonsense you talk about is restricted to fringe kooks on the internet, whom nobody takes seriously in any case, and the racist talk about immigrants and muslims is the preserve of the BNP and EDL, who are likewise ridiculed and despised by society at large. This kind of pro-bigot stance with regard to homophobia is orders of magnitude more acceptable in society – even the BBC deals in it, where they would absolutely not touch either of the two examples you cite.
The cases are simply not comparable.
They will eventually, but what little respect I have left for them will be long gone by then.
I have been astonished by the media’s coverage of this. I would expect them to cover the perceived threat to religious beliefs in the name of balance, but they have gone completely overboard on it. There has been hardly any positive coverage on the beneficial effects it wil have to gay people. The BBC in particular has been disgraceful.
Agreed. Every silly little whinge from anti-equality MPs and people of religion has been near the top of the BBCs news stories. They’re portraying EM as if all these poor bigots were being victimised. They never seem to have pro-equality stories, and even if they do – eg reporting the recent vote – it’s always rounded off with some crap from a bigot.
The BBCs attitude has been disgusting. They’ve acted as a broadcast station for bigots.
Excellent article Adrian.
Excellent article! I do think the media need to be held to account over unbalanced coverage, particularly the BBC. Wouldn’t this be something StonewallUK should be involved with? It really needs serious and urgent attention. Why are we paying licence fees and for what?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for that useless crew to join the battle.
I agree with Adrian’s comments. I read the Simon Jenkins’ article in the Guardian and thought I was reading a different newspaper. I wondered why the Guardian was allowing itself to be associated with such sh!t journalism, so apologetic towards the nastiest elements in society. According to Jenkins we have to be tolerant of intolerance! Yeah, right. Where would that have got us over the years. A stupid pr!ck who should know better, or does know better but has a chip on his shoulder about gay people.
As for the BBC, well what’s new. The organisation must think that all license fee payers are blue-rinsed ladies in tweed and Jeremy Clarkson types. Though, the alternative broadcasters aren’t any better.
Robert in S.Kensington is right to suggest that Stonewall should get involved with this.
Nope too right wing for me, I dont buy this persecution complex… Gays must adopt a more progressive approach to dealing with people opposed to them. I really dont like this angry right wing manipulation… You dont represent all gay people.
What would you suggest as being a “more progressive approach” in dealing with bigots, Kerin?
As for not liking “this angry right wing manipulation” – the only right-wing manipulators that I can see at the moment are people like David Jones and others on the Christian Right who are definitely trying to manipulate the situation to encourage a climate of suspicion and ill-feeling amongst the population towards gay people. They feel that their sexuality and their religion is justification to have superior privileges in society. They have an agenda to stymie any opportunity for us to be equal to them and manipulating the population with inflammatory public comments is part of that agenda. Gay people have a right to be suspicious of them as we are very aware of persecution – it is real, not a ‘complex’. Homophobia is rife. Considering the lengths such people will go to, we cannot seriously tolerate the intolerant – that would be regressive, not progressive.
James that’s complete rubbish and you know it
Adrian is spot on.
The BBC still has a religious ethos. At least Jeremy Vine makes no secret of his Christian beliefs. But what about other presenters and programme makers – perhaps we should be told a more about them.
The air time devoted to reporting the Pope’s resignation is quite shocking, but it serves to demonstrate exactly where the BBC is coming from on LGBT equality issues.
And I’m sick of hearing about people who “genuinely believe” this or that. Seems the BBC thinks “genuine beliefs” are only valid when they coincide with a religious viewpoint. Well I, and millions of others around the world, genuinely believe the Pope is a nasty evil person. Doubt you’ll ever hear any reference to that genuine belief on the BBC.
Do they still have ‘Songs of Praise’? [lol]. They do show a plethora of nauseating programmes about heterosexual couples trying to find ‘a place in the country’ or somewhere with ‘location, location, location’ cred and 2 parent (opposite sex) families with 2 children agonising over whether they should move ‘down under’ or not. AGGGHH!! When are gay people and their families ever represented on the BBC (or other channels), apart from negatively. As for ITV – well they’ve had a gay character on Coronation Street suddenly “turn” straight. What lovely representation that is. The laws that affect our lives have been progressive in a relatively short period of time in recent years, but beyond the statute books society’s beliefs haven’t moved so progressively if those beliefs are accurately reflected by the media. Yet, opinion polls claim that a majority of the public support same-sex marriage, which suggests the media at large is not at all comfortable being in the 21st Century.
House and home makeover shows feature loads of gay couples. It fits their stereotype of us. (Embarrassed I know this :-) )
You could well be right as I seldom watch them these days. I think I was just in the mood for a rant or two yesterday!
Adrian you write so well. I very much enjoy reading your analysis.
I guess what we are learning is that there is an element of intolerance within journalism, that is determined to use their pedestal, to try and derail the march towards equality.
More from Mr Tippets, please.
As ever, I agree with every word but would emphasize that two points can’t be made too often or too forcefully as the same-sex marriage debate progresses.
Firstly, same-sex weddings happen in New Zealand and the UK and will continue to happen, whether we get same-sex marriage legislation or not. If our respective Bills, therefore, become law, the majority of people will notice no difference in society. Same-sex marriage for most people will be the biggest non-event since the Y2K bug.
Secondly, marriage-equality campaigners are not ramming their beliefs down other people’s throats. We are asking for a group of minorities to be treated equally under the law with other citizens. We’re not seeking to alter anyone else’s beliefs or practices. It is our opponents, who are saying that they have a book, which tells them how to live and, therefore, the law should force all to live that way. The boot’s on the other foot.
“While last Tuesday’s passing of the same-sex marriage bill by MPs was a landmark for LGBT emancipation, there will be no noticeable change for the rest of the nation”
I suppose the same could be said if consensual adult incest were legalized. Only a few incestuous deviants would experience a notable change. Does this mean that those that support so called ‘equal marriage’ also support support consensual adult incest in principle?
Do not such supporters claim that whatever happens between consenting adults in the bedroom is nobodys’ business or will their answer reveal a hypocrisy and bias toward their own perverted cause?
Actually, yeah, I don’t think we should criminalize consensual adult incest, as long as it does not lead to procreation. Because it harms nobody. There are strong cultural and even instinctual taboos against it, and a negligible minority would be at all interested, but the same could be said of numerous other perfectly legal sexual and social predilections.
The only test we should apply in this case is whether something causes harm. “Eww, icky, I have a culturally ingrained dislike for that” is not a valid legal or moral argument. Show me where the harm is, and we can talk.
You see, what you’re doing here is assuming that everybody operates on your kind of narrow-minded, illiberal thinking, where gut reactions and normative social taboos are a valid part of moral discourse. Those among us of a more enlightened, rational and contemplative stamp find such things quaint at best and risible at worst.
Try again, bigot…
What do you mean try again It was a no win question for anyone with a deviant> mind. Opposition to consensual adult incest would expose your hypocrisy whilst support of it would expose your gutter morals and validate the claim that in principle, so called equal marriage could lead to legalizing incest and incestuous marriage..
Ps.Moral people do have taboos. A moral person would consider eating someone elses faeces immoral. You clearly would not since there is no harm!
If I steal a small item from a mega store, there is no harm. Therefore in your perverted world, the theft is not immoral, wierdo !!
There are currently eleven countries where equal marriage is legal, some for more than a decade. I want you to come back with the factual evidence that equal marriage has led to a demand for polygamy and incest. Name one government that is prepared to legislate for it and how much support is there for it? You’re an idiot.
Don’t bother, Robert. It’s impossible to have anything like a logical discussion with keith.
I did not say it would lead to legalizing incest though I do not rule out a legal challenge in the future. What I am saying is that the principles you hold such as consenting adults should be allowed to have sex in their own bedrooms means that two close consenting adult relatives would not be prohibited fro sex, under your principles. This exposes the deviance of your principles since you also hold that consenting adults should be allowed to marry. Therefore under your principles, incestuous marriage is allowed.
Just before anyone gets too hot under the collar about feeding trolls, I would say that an article on Slate a while back answered silly points like the one made at the top of this thread.
Are you another that is not opposed to incest or does a false accusation of ‘troll’ deliver you from facing a difficult question?
FYI a troll targets individulas and does not address the issues. My post is relevant as is my question.
Incidentally, your link actually harms your own case since it suggests that adult consent should not be the only consideration when deciding which relationships should be lawful. The article says that social roles and disturbance of a family are also a consideration.
It is clear that the family unit and social roles are also impacted by so called ‘equal marriage’ yet this is disregarded in favour of biased agenda, thus revealing the hypocrisy and self serving nature of the ‘equal marriage’ militants.
You are opposed to incest on grounds which also apply to homosexuality and homosexual marriage.
In my experience, this assertion that gay people have to answer for incest is usually linked to the slippery slope fallacy – “If we tolerate gay marriage, then our children, consenting incest, animals, polygamy will be next.”
I find it telling that so may anti-equal marriage militants allude to “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” – A creation myth in which a man has a clone grafted off his own rib, who he pairs up with to spawn two sons. At this stage they’re the only 4 people on the planet. And then somehow they have grandkids.
It rather highlights that you can commence a slippery slope argument to incest with ANY relationship, not just a gay one, so why do the anti-gay militants focus on that arbitary point with the legalisation of gay marriage to bring this slippery slope fallacy into play?
Let’s ban ALL relationships, cause sooner or later someone will want incest.
Could it be that gay marriage and incestouous marriage are seperate issues to be judged on their own merits?
Associating the completely separate issues of incest, paedophilia and bestiality in the debate about equal-marriage is part of the agenda of homophobic bigots. They will also label anyone supporting gay equality as being ‘militant’. I suspect that many of them, especially the politicians, know how inaccurate and inflammatory it is to use the militancy tag and remarks about incest, paedophilia and bestiality in their argument – however their intention is to stoke the fury of the reactionary, illiberal elements in society. They are simply ‘rabble-rousers’, rolling out all sorts of irrational notions at whatever cost.
It might interest you to know that during the fight to keep interracial marriage illegal, the exact same slippery slope arguments were used. What makes you think they are any less ridiculous now?
People cannot help their colour or race nor does any society consider it immoral to be of a different race so why shouldn’t mixed race marry?. Therefore, you make a false comparison since homosexuality is an immoral behaviour and there is no compelling force that causes a man to put his penis in the faecal passage of another.
Harvey Milk once advocated that we need to come out to our parents and friends (if indeed they are your friends) so that people will know you for who you are and the prejudices you face in society.
All you need to do is tell your parents and friends of the BBC’s prejudices of gay people with the little reminder that when anything horrible happens in the news the BBC ‘always’ puts the vicar in front of the camera.
“Could it be that gay marriage and incestouous marriage are seperate issues to be judged on their own merits?”
They are separate issues but similar in they are an issue of sexual rightsnof consenting adults.
Since the homosexual brigade hold that whatever consenting adults do in private is their own business, it follows that under such principles, the law would have to allow consensual adult incest.
On the other hand, If consent and adulthood should not be the only factors when determining lawful sexual unions, it follows that other factors should be considered. Many feel that other factors to consider should be the effect on societal, the family unit and subversion of innocent children to moral deviance.
That’s a great point
Great article, Adrian. All relevant points covered in an eloquent way. I wonder how the media eg the BBC would respond to this article?
Shut up you angry little man
In the UK we have an established church the laws of which are part of the law of the land.
The media is not willingly going to offend that organisation for the sake of a minority.
Surely one of the things that has come out of all this is that people are beginning to question as to why we have an established church at all.
We, the minority, have shaken the ‘establishment’ by having the cheek to question it and rattle its windows.
I stopped listening to the drivel Vine puts out everyday. He is an arrogant and rude presenter who tends to show little time for the the general public, cuts them off air mid sentence all the time just so he can play another record. I’ll stay with Radio 5 thanks.
I complained to the BBC about their biased reporting. This is their response: Thank you for contacting us regarding ‘Today’, broadcast on 1 February on BBC Radio 4.
We understand you felt a report by Justin Webb about the Coalition Government’s same-sex marriage bill was biased towards those opposed to the bill and could encourage homophobia.
Justin’s report was seeking to find out the views from the grassroot supporters of the Conservative Party who oppose the bill. He went to meet some of the constituents of Enfield Southgate in North London, whose MP (David Burrowes) voted against the bill and he was looking to find out why they were against it.
This is an important subject and one that the majority of the ‘Today’ listeners would expect the programme to explore and seek out and question all the differing viewpoints which have been generated by the proposed legislation.
Furthermore, in dealing with any controversial matter the BBC is required to give a fair and balanced report. Balance can’t simply be judged on the basis of the time allocated to the representatives of either side of an argument however. Account also needs to be taken of the way a subject is covered over a period of time; perfect balance is difficult to achieve on every single occasion while overall it is a more achievable goal.
Nevertheless, we appreciate how strongly you feel on this matter and we’re guided by our audience feedback, so we’d like to assure you that your complaint has been registered on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback that we compile on a daily basis and it’s made available to BBC Radio 4, channel executives and senior management.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks once again for taking the time to contact us
I agree with previous comments that Stonewall should be tackling media bias, however, I’m not sure this will happen. Perhaps it is time we set up something in this country similar to GLAAD in the USA: http://www.glaad.org/about – but I think this should be led by journalists like Adrian, Ben Cohen, etc.
Excellent article, by the way!
Thanks for the comments Jan (and everyone for that matter); well done for complaining. Even though your complaint was rejected, the fact that you made it is good enough. Someone had to acknowledge it, open it, read it, log it, confer with others, draft a reply, all of which takes quite some time. They will learn, if enough make noise, that treating LGBT issues as a religious matter, or a morally debatable issue, will not be profitable. There are arguably more people who reject Evolution than who think homosexuality is wrong. When a new dinosaur fossil is found in China or Utah, we do not balance the report with a comment from Creation Ministries International versus the Natural History Museum. We might not be able to completely bypass Christian Concern and co, but we should at least apply the same hostility as we might to a proponent of racism. I have recordings of the Vine show and will upload bits of it to my blog, so folks can hear what the BBC regards as acceptable.
The BBC need to be investigated about the blatantly obvious and severe bias in favour of homophobic ideals and anti-gay stances on their news coverage and programmes. Will never happen, of course, but it sorely needs to. They may hide under their ‘equality and diversity policy’, but underneath it’s just the same old bigoted Beeb.
Thats a load of rubbish, lets stop with this pc rubbish, you need to appreciate a more pragmatic approach to life and stop seeing an agenda behind everything. Relax yourself Kale, for goodness sake chillout.
“We are asked to be polite in arguing our case for equality, but I might argue too, that being treated as second class is the height of rudeness to start with.”
You can’t fight intolerance with intolerance. There are still vast swathes of the population who grew up with the idea that homosexuality is wrong. That kind of thinking may be irrational, but it is nonetheless deeply ingrained. Labelling them all bigots or trying to silence their voices will likely only make them want to dig their heels in harder.
Meet fear with love. It’s not only the mature thing to do but it’s also much more likely to be effective.