Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A few years ago California had a referendum on whether lesbian and gay couples should continue to be permitted to marry. In the run-up to the referendum, Californian residents were bombarded with thousands of television adverts, both for and against Proposition 8.

Proposition 8 succeeded in getting slightly more than 50% support from voters, and as a result same-sex marriages could no longer take place in the State, despite California's Supreme Court having previously ruled that denial of the right of same-sex couples to marry was unconstitutional.

The UK government has made clear its intention to amend marriage laws, so that lesbian and gay couples will be able to marry in Britain. A consultation on how best to implement marriage equality is due to start very shortly. This change in British law will affect the lives of thousands of people who are now still at school - they might even watch Newsround.

Of course, not everyone in this country is happy about changing the law. Some religious leaders have stated their opposition. That was very clear on Sunday, when the Catholic Church position was reported in an almost completely one-sided way. There was very little attempt to balance out what is, in reality, nothing more than religious bigotry directed against a minority.

Robert Pigott - BBC One -Sunday 11th March 2012 - 6.30pm
Robert Pigott - BBC One news on 11/3/2012

So when the Consultation gets underway in the next few days, what will Newsround have to say to viewers?

I'd be extremely surprised if we hear so much as a peep from them about the topic. And what will this silence signify? It is, of course, a most eloquent denial of the recognition and equal rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual children who might be watching.

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