Setback for gay TV code

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The Independent Online
BROADCASTERS who have been lobbying for new guidelines on the portrayal of gay sex on television are expected to be disappointed next week when a new code is published.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission TV watchdog is to publish a new code on taste and decency next week and had considered a new clause to state to viewers that the portrayal of gay sex on screen is not grounds for complaint on its own. But the BSC is understood to have rejected the clause in its final draft of the code, which as well as providing for viewers who wish to make a complaint also acts as guidance for all the UK's broadcasters over what they may broadcast.

Peter Tatchell, spokesman for the gay rights group OutRage!, said: "The BSC apparently believes that gay sex is more offensive than straight sex. Standards of taste and decency should apply equally without discrimination." The BSC has tended to base its rulings on the degree of explicitness on the sex portrayed rather than the sex of the participants.