We’ve got no problem with anyone asking mildly inappropriate questions for the sake of driving debate. This website does it all the time! But the BBC unarguably went too far earlier this month when it asked its audience, referencing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, “Should homosexuals face execution?” The network ended up apologizing for the posting a day later, with a giant asterisk. So has the BBC learned its lesson?
In a post on BBC World’s Have Your Say blog, there’s this:
Pulling on recent events in Argentina and Malawi, the BBC expounds: “So what is it about gay marriage that is so divisive? Are the symbolic and cultural resonance of marriage something that gay couples shouldn’t the entitled to? Do you agree with the bajan blogger who argues that supporters of gay marriage have to answer the charge that they always want ‘more’ and will only be satisfied with an equality which certification cannot give? Is gay marriage a step too far?”
Now this isn’t a terrible question to ask, even if it does “offend” plenty of gays and their supporters, who see marriage equality as a right not up for debate. But the BBC could have been a lot more tasteless, perhaps by posing the question, “Do fags deserve the right to ruin traditional marriage?”
Maybe they should pose the question to BBC News staffer Jane Hill, who just came out.