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BBC criticised for asking if LGBT rights should be taught in schools

Ella Braidwood March 27, 2019
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BBC quietly drops LGBT+ charities from its 'gender identity' support page

The BBC removed vital information about charities offering support to those struggling with their gender identity. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

BBC’s Woman’s Hour is under fire after it posted on Twitter asking if LGBT+ rights should be taught in schools.

The BBC Radio 4 programme tweeted the question for a segment it aired discussing protests from some parents against LGBT+ inclusive education in primary schools in Birmingham.

“Do you think LGBT rights should be taught in schools? Jane speaks to a mother and a head teacher,” the post published on Monday (March 25) read.

BBC Woman’s Hour removes tweet after criticism

BBC Woman’s Hour has since deleted the tweet.

In a later post, BBC Woman’s Hour said: “This item discussed the parent protests against the teaching of LGBT sex education in English schools.

“We heard from a parent who disagrees with the policy & a Birmingham head teacher.

“Our earlier tweet didn’t reflect the item & we have removed it.”

Listeners lashed out at the BBC’s original post on social media.

“Why is this a question? Do LGBT people have rights? Do they experience harassment?”

—Writer Tom Coates on Twitter

Public health specialist Dr Joanna Semlyen wrote on Twitter: “How easily rights ebb away.

“How quickly a given becomes a decision open to debate.

“Exploited here by @BBCRadio4 for controversy and listener numbers at best.

“At worst the narrative becomes authenticated, deepened and fortified. All rights won can be rights lost.”

BBC Woman's Hour tweet asking if LGBT+ rights should be taught in schools
BBC Woman’s Hour posted a tweet asking if LGBT+ rights should be taught in schools. (BBCWomansHour/Twitter)

Writer Tom Coates, meanwhile, said: “Why is this a question? Do LGBT people have rights? Do they experience harassment?

“Are there LGBT kids in every classroom of every school?

“Then yes, they should be taught, just like gender equality and racial history.”

Woman’s Hour criticised for “loaded question” about LGBT+ rights in schools

And a third person wrote: “Next week on Woman’s Hour “Do you think racial equality should be taught in schools?”

“Also it’s not ‘rights’, it’s equality.

“And you aren’t just teaching it to people who know nothing about it, you are supporting LGBT+ kids and parents.

“What a loaded question.”

The BBC Woman’s Hour segment included an interview with Anderton Park Primary school headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, who recently told PInkNews that her school’s LGBT+ inclusive curriculum would continue despite the protests.

The BBC’s tweet comes after The Economist came under fire for posting an article about transgender people on Twitter with the now-deleted question: “Should transgender people be sterilised before they are recognised?”

More: BBC, London

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