Norman Lamb: Gay characters shouldn’t be ‘out of bounds’ in children’s TV shows like Peppa Pig
Lib Dem leadership candidate Norman Lamb has called for children’s TV to feature more same-sex couples, in an interview with PinkNews.
The former Health minister, who is one of two candidates seeking to succeed Nick Clegg as leader of the Liberal Democrats, wrote for PinkNews that the lack of LGBT characters on children’s TV was down to bigotry.
He said: “It is deemed inappropriate to show same-sex couples on children’s television – in a manner not dissimilar from the treatment of mixed-race couples a generation ago.
“Our broadcasters must realise that sexuality is not, fundamentally, about who you want to have sex with – but who you are, and who you love.
In an interview with PinkNews, he said: “It ends up with the legislation that we passed being a bit meaningless if we don’t follow through in the way we behave in our institutions and in our media. “We have to be true to the legislation we’ve passed.
“The legislation very clearly says that a loving relationship between two people of the same sex is of equal value, so in everything that we then do, as a society, we need to reinforce that, not deny it.
Asked whether this means he’d like to see gay characters in shows like Peppa Pig, he said: “If you impose arbitrary limits, you’re saying that actually at heart, it’s not equatable. It should absolutely not be out of bounds, which it appears to be at the moment.
“It is inconsistent with the philosophy that has led to the legislation. That’s the principle point. So, we have to be clear and consistent.
“If we’re not, it still tells that teenager, who is struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, that there is something not quite normal about how they feel. And that puts unfair strain on that individual which we should not be prepared to tolerate.”