Wednesday, February 01, 2012

It's that time of year again. February is the month for celebrating diversity - LGBT History Month in the UK, and Black History Month in the USA. February is also the month for celebrating love. Supermarkets are already stocking up with chocolates and champagne in preparation for Valentine's Day.

CBBC has always been happy to portray boy-girl attraction. The new series of Tracy Beaker Returns, which began last month with Frank dating Lizanne, is just one example. And I'd be surprised if we don't see even more romance-themed programmes than usual during February. So far, though, we've yet to witness any lesbian or gay couples on the channel.

Some people, including the Archbishop of York, want to deny same sex couples the right to marry - an insidious, but effective, way of intimating that gay people are second class citizens.

Similarly interracial marriage has, in the past, been banned in various countries and American States.

People might be less surprised at Archbishop Sentamu's stance if they look back to the time he was the Bishop of Stepney. For at that time John Sentamu was one of four bishops who declined support for the Cambridge Accord which denounced all acts of violence, oppression, and degradation against gay people. Rowan Williams, presently Archbishop of Canterbury, was amongst the signatories.

Perhaps bosses of BBC children's TV also think of gay people as second class citizens. That's the impression they continue to give.

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci
LGBT History Month begins today. Tomorrow at 4.30pm BBC One is due to air yet another repeat in the Leonardo series - It Must Be Love - thereby doing less than nothing to combat prejudice against lesbian and gay people.

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