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Irish radio listener: Kids living with gay people ‘could easily pick up AIDS’

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  1. Surely it depends on the context in which this letter was read out? I don’t think it’s a good idea to censor this sort of letter, it’s a timely reminder of how far we still have to go in educating people.

    I think it’s better to have such views aired and then comprehensively demolished, rather than just ignoring them.

    1. Midnighter 23 Jan 2014, 1:21pm

      Quite right. The best thing to do with such rabid hatred it expose it to reason and to the ridicule it deserves.

      The issue here seems to have been that the context wasn’t sufficiently critical, but it appears that appropriate corrective action has been taken

      In much the same was as the WBC are a self-defeating organisation, if the intent of this message was as a rallying cry then it would appear to have backfired.

      I’m sure a core of fanatics will claim that the subsequent censure was an attack on their religion and whatnot, to which my response is that if you seek our approbation, stop believing in irrational garbage and certainly don’t use it to attack others who don’t share your affliction.

    2. de Villiers 23 Jan 2014, 1:48pm

      I agree. Further, what is worrying is that children might be brought up by a person of such ignorance.

    3. After he read the text out, his only comment was “Thanks for getting in touch”.

  2. That There Other David 23 Jan 2014, 1:15pm

    “Eradicating” homosexuality can only be taken to mean one thing, and it’s not a particularly pleasant idea.

    Also, the AIDS epidemic as “Jo” puts it began in Africa. Does he/she similarly advocate genocide against everyone on that continent? Or is the automatic death penalty only reserved for us?

    1. Does he/she similarly advocate genocide against everyone on that continent?

      Actually it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if s/he did.

  3. He was not the one expressing this outrageous view, he was simply repeating a listeners lunatic opinion.

    I worry that we’re ignoring the opportunities for debate and social evolution by attacking anyone who even relays an opinion. Nothing will change if we attempt to silence all those who disagree and never let them show their stupidity. We should let people share these opinions so that we can adequately show how backward and ignorant some people really are.

    You can’t have a debate with a gagged opponent. No one learns anything if reality is distorted to be more palatable.

    This is the reality of outdated religious lunacy, we can’t ignore it and we shouldn’t be attacking those who tell it like it is. He wasn’t “supporting” the opinion, he was showing that there are still plenty of lunatics out there.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    1. I should also add that we are now reaching a point where LGBT issues are increasingly unlikely to make it to radio and TV, for fear of being misunderstood and attacked.

      What those who are attacking people like him are really doing is only further silencing LGBT people. If you were a TV or Radio personality right now, would you want to discuss LGBT issues on air and risk being focus of a campaign by ill-informed crusaders?

      The over-the-top responses to instances like this are doing us more harm than good.

      1. Midnighter 23 Jan 2014, 2:15pm

        Perhaps you know something I don’t: was there in fact an opportunity to present the opposing views and to dissect the hateful statement which was aired?

        If there was not – as I had assumed to be the case – then you can’t reasonably argue both for the case of airing and debating such views, and at the same time complain of an “over-the-top” response if this response was as a result of there having been no opportunity for debate.

        Broadly I agree with everything you’ve said, but I think one of us is insufficiently informed about how this actually went down.

        1. According to Lisa above, there was no debate of the message. I therefore don’t think we can opine that the response was over the top.

          In fact I’d go so far as to say that the issue I’m seeing is not the LGBT community over reacting, but rather if there is any bandwagon-jumping going on it is those claiming that every reaction is some kind of “witch hunt” or “over-reaction”.

        2. He’s stated that he’s had plenty of debates on this in the past, and as I understand it this was not the only opinion being read out.
          This is not an election where broadcasters are required by law to allocate exact time to each opposing view, it’s an ongoing debate and discussion that we see all the time.

          When you compare this man to others who do preach a biased and one-sided view, it’s clear who we should be “going after” in our campaigns.

          Again, we’re wasting too much time and effort on misunderstandings and irrelevancies. He’s been a moderate host and presented both views numerous times. I don’t believe this single event justifies a veritable crusade against him.

          1. I don’t agree that it should have been read out on air without comment. When there are debates about racial issues, I’m sure broadcasters get lots of texts saying “They smell” or Send ’em back on the banana boat” type nonsense. That sort of extreme comment is routed out as a matter of course. It makes my blood boil when extremist pundits are allowed to invade what should be intelligent debate about GLBT issues with pure hatred.

          2. If you were to stand up in the bus and read this type letter on the topic of homophobia, race or misogyny out to a random selection of people, would you genuinely expect them all to sit there without any sort of reaction?

            Even the host has admitted he acted unprofessionally.

            It is not reasonable to expect people NOT to react. By jumping on this “veritable crusade” polemic you are quite simply playing into the hands of our opponents who would rather we didn’t resist their own “veritable crusade” which would see us all silenced or exterminated.

            If the battle noise of this “crusade” upsets you, the solution is not to stop fighting, but to win the war on bigotry.

    2. Exactly. And it’s also a useful to be reminded that these views can still be found closer to home than Russia, Uganda or the southern US, even if only in a lunatic fringe. We can’t afford to get too complacent.

  4. Sinead Harkin 23 Jan 2014, 1:49pm

    It’s far easier for kids to pick up stupidity from thick people

  5. LBC often reads out dumb and offensive texts and emails, but they are always framed by the presenter’s scorn. The fact that it was read out uncritically, and the presenter didn’t even comment afterwards, suggests to me that the excuse of not proofreading is untrue.

  6. Social Services ought to be *very* interested in his parenting style…!

  7. It is nauseous that some people with children can pass the imbecility, narrow mindedness and homophobia to their offspring: the same as HIV, it is a condition for life. Let’s hope education is far kinder to the children than it has been to their progenitors.

  8. It was the perfect opportunity to state that studies have shown that kids do very well with gay parents. Shame the presenter wasn’t able to think on his feet.

  9. mary mccarthy 23 Jan 2014, 3:01pm

    Having always listened 2 Tommy Marren i must say i was gobsmacked that he did read out such a dreadful text. The whole text was disgraceful and the person Jo that wrote it should come out of the dark ages. It is not up 2 us 2 judge any one in my mind people should be allowed 2 live what ever way they wish it makes me so mad 2 see how easy people will judge and make assumptions and i am sure Tommy Marren has learned a lesson that everything should be proof read but fore been read out

  10. yeah considering hiv started with a straight person in the first place, get the facts right

  11. H.I.V. will always been an open goal for bigots. Like it or not. Safe sex is the only solution.

  12. Richard the Big Bunny 23 Jan 2014, 8:26pm

    Politics & bigotry aside, it is actually asinine to imply that a child in virtually ANY situation “could easily pick up AIDS” — that shows zero awareness of the disease and its virology. Short of bizarre situations with needles lying about, blood-gushing accidents and seminal fluid, how exactly is a child supposed to ‘easily’ contract HIV? I honestly had no idea that people anywhere in the western world with a radio or a television could be so stupid at this point.

  13. Christopher Coleman 23 Jan 2014, 9:23pm

    I suppose this dear lady thinks that AIDS is spread like the common cold.

  14. James Campbell 23 Jan 2014, 11:31pm

    I sometimes wonder why I spent 8 years at university when people such as this caller ‘Jo’ obviously knows far more about health than I do. There is a long list of subjects that I have only a sketchy knowledge of and I do not presume to make assertions about such matters. Why is it therefore, that all the world, his wife & dog think they have all the answers to subjects such as HIV? It is ridiculous to assert that gay parents will infect their children with AIDS. Apart from the obvious harm a claim like this can do, one can only hope that the children of gay couples are not barred from attending school by a parents’ protest at the school gates demanding that this “diseased child be barred from attending”. You may think I am exaggerating, but I have witnessed this in action. I have no wish to condemn the broadcaster from allowing this bigot to show her true colours, but disappointed that he did not comment on what she said.

  15. I use to think the world of Ireland, but if that’s the way they think i have changed my thinking. I blame the radio station too, he should have proofread the text, even that could be excused if when he realized what he was reading he stopped, but he read the entire text and that’s inexcusable.

  16. The host of the show did nothing wrong. He only allowed a listener to show how ignorant and hateful she is. lets stamp out this hatred and ignorance once and for all!

  17. Hopefully there is a solid incitement to hatred law in Ireland and some local person instigates appropriate action in this case.

  18. I don’t think he needed to apologise. It wasn’t his views. Obviously “Jo” is a bigot and her view on this is warped but people are entitled to their opinion. I wasn’t offended by her comments- I just shook my head and laughed at how ridiculous someone can be.

  19. I don’t think he needed to apologise. It wasn’t his opinion. “Jo” is obviously a bigot but everyone is entitled to an option. I wasn’t offended by her comments. I just shoook my head and laughed at how stupid people can be!

    1. Midnighter 27 Jan 2014, 2:11pm

      Thanks Paul. To me this comes accross as netural / accepting of the content of the message and certainly not at all critical.

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