Monday, September 19, 2011

The UK Government has just announced an intention to legislate in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry. News items about LGBT equality never make it to Newsround, but it's quite refreshing to see some teens happy to chat about diversity and equality on YouTube. Here, for example, TheRealJazzBertie gives her views on religion, marriage and civil partnerships:-

TheRealJazzBertie - A future BBC news reporter?

Every year the BBC holds a journalism-fest called School Report. Schools from around the country are invited to participate by asking kids to make their own news report on something of interest. Of course there's one topic to be especially wary of - that is gay rights. So if any schools are thinking of signing up to this venture, that is the one topic to push for. Here are a few of my suggestions -

(1) School children might be able to make use of projects carried out during February - LGBT History Month - as the starting point of a BBC School Report.

(2) The government consultation on marriage equality is supposed to begin in March - the same month as BBC School Report. So that's a subject schools could look at.

(3) Next year, 2012, is Alan Turing Year - the centenary of Turing's birth. Think about the impact of computers in all our lives. What is being done to celebrate Turing's life and achievements?

(4) Kids could talk to sports personalities, such as Ben Cohen and Gareth Thomas, who are trying to stamp out homophobia and homophobic bullying. Their work has never been mentioned on Newsround.

(5) Lastly, what about an interview with the BBC Director-General? The BBC is in need of a bit of scrutiny because it's practically exempt from large swathes of the Equality Act 2010, as well as the the Freedom of Information Act 2000. What better excuse could there be for asking Director-General, Mark Thompson, for a few minutes of his time? The interviewers could perhaps begin by asking Mark - reputedly a devout Roman Catholic - whether or not he accepts the Vatican's teaching on homosexuality, and what he thinks about the prospect of gay people being allowed to marry.

BBC trailer to publicise The School Report

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