BBC debates executing gays

BBC-Africa-Have-Your-Say-001The Guardian reports that the BBC news website has been running a debate on the charming topic ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’ on a talkboard discussion for a World Service programme for African listeners.

This is in the context of the new Ugandan legislation that makes homosexuality a capital crime. There’s an interesting story about the links between high-profile American fundamentalists and the murderous laws in Uganda but the point I want to make here relates to the connection between the BBC’s provision of airtime for the fascist British National Party and its willingness to ponder the extermination of gays. That is, in the stoush over BNP fuhrer Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, the BBC management asserted, almost as a matter of principle, the necessity of giving time to abhorrent views of the far right (even when, as in the case of the BNP’s racism, these views contradict the BBC’s charter).  And once you’ve debated fascism, why not debate mass murder?

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland.

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