EDM 2438 - USE OF THE WORD `GAY' ON BBC RADIO
That this House expresses concern that the word 'gay' has been used by Radio One presenter Chris Moyles to refer to something 'lame or rubbish' on air; notes in particular that Chris Moyles' show is heard by up to 6.5 million listeners, many of them young adults and children; recognises that the use of such language in such a context may encourage or legitimise negative attitudes towards homosexuals; further notes that research compiled by Stonewall found that 51 per cent. of gay men and 30 per cent. of lesbians reported being bullied physically and 82 per cent. of respondents stated that they had been subject to name-calling and other forms of humiliation at school; believes that while freedom of speech is always of immense importance, that wherever possible the best way for that freedom to be exercised is in a responsible, sensitive manner and in full knowledge of the possible repercussions; and calls for the BBC to ensure that all its staff are aware of the possible negative consequences that apparent casual homophobia may have.
This is good to hear. I was rather disappointed ('angry' would be a better way to describe it) by the way the BBC dismissed the matter as of little importance soon after it happened. If one were to substitute the word 'black' or 'immigrant' and pretend that it was acceptable for it to be used now by young people to categorise such people as 'lame or rubbish' then I think everyone would have, quite rightly, taken very strong offence. It is quite simply unacceptable for the BBC to appear to condone such categorisations when they affect homosexuals or anyone else and because of its power and influence give such usages greater currency.
Why should I continue to pay my licence fee to an organisation which feels it can laugh such matters off!?