A radio presenter has left his BBC breakfast show – after he was forced to apologise for labelling an anti-LGBT group Christian “bigots”.
A controversy emerged last week on Iain Lee’s BBC Three Counties Radio breakfast show, when Lee interviewed Libby Powell of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre.
Christian Concern is an extreme Christian group which is strongly committed to opposing LGBT rights, speaking against equality on issues from same-sex parenting to anti-bullying campaigns, and opposing the decriminalisation of homosexuality globally.
Things turned fiery on-air between the pair while discussing the case of a prison gardener who says he was ‘persecuted’ at work, after getting a warning for telling inmates that homosexuals must repent their sexuality to please God.
When Powell insisted homosexuality is a sin, Lee asked: “Do you support bigotry?”
Powell insisted that the case isn’t one of bigotry, but Lee continued: “Homophobia is bigotry. Do you support bigotry?”
Later in the interview, when Powell defended her views by reciting anti-LGBT church teachings, Lee hit back: “You’ve chosen not to question it, because you’re a bigot.”
However, after the anti-LGBT Christian group encouraged its supporters to complain en masse about the interview, the BBC issued an apology, saying that the interview was “at several points inappropriate”.
This weekend, the radio star confirmed that he has departed his breakfast show, and will not be returning.
The BBC confirmed: “Iain Lee will no longer be presenting his shows on the station but we want to take this opportunity to thank him and wish him well for the future.”
Lee added on Twitter: “Thanks everyone. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. See you sometime in the future. X”
Christian Concern has previously claimed that anti-bullying campaigns are playing into the hands of a gay “Trojan Horse” attempting to promote gay sex to children.
The group often exhibits objectively bigoted views, claiming Stonewall is an “ideological propaganda machine” attacking families.
Anti-LGBT CEO Andrea Williams, who has had involvement with ‘gay cure’ events in the past – also affirms that gay couples are “selfish” for having children.
The group has also backed laws criminalising gay sex in other countries. Speaking at a conference in Jamaica in support of the country’s buggery law, Williams cited Tom Daley in claiming that homosexuality can be “caused” by a “lack of the father” and “sometimes a level of abuse”.