Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A few days ago Miley Cyrus tweeted a picture of a tattoo on her finger. The equals sign on her ring finger is to signify that Miley believes that lesbian and gay people should be entitled to marry.

Although Newsround reports a great deal of celebrity news, it has never, ever (well since 2002, at any rate) reported on gestures of support for LGBT people in the battle for equality, and against homophobic prejudice. So kids won't have learnt about the good work done by Daniel Radcliffe, Lady Gaga and several others.

It's three years since the brutal homophobic murder of Michael Causer. The trial which followed was a stain on the British judicial system, as the prime culprit for Michael's death, Gavin Alker, walked free in February 2009.

The BBC, as the main UK public service broadcaster and therefore a major public opinion former was, and still is, in a position to help prevent hate crimes like that.

Director-General, Mark Thompson, is a devout Roman Catholic who clearly recognises the authority of the Pope. Amongst the teachings of the Catholic Church is that homosexuality is a "tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."

So how much is BBC policy being shaped by Catholic doctrine. Mark Thompson has often lectured about the place of religion in broadcasting. Here, for example, he begins with a quote from the Gospel according to Mark. A few months later he lectured to Theos on his conviction that religion is back.

Perhaps Mr Thompson would now care to address the controversy directly.

Does Mark agree with Vatican teaching on LGB people? Is he and BBC management acting as a kind of self-appointed Curia?

Recall that, only a year after Mark Thompson took the helm of the BBC, the following advice was removed from programme makers' guidance -

Gay and lesbian people, and those who are bisexual, make up a significant minority entitled to be served and treated fairly by the BBC.

Have BBC children's programmes since 2005 been tailored to comply with Catholic doctrine, even though it undoubtedly fosters homophobic prejudice?

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