Letter: The portrayal of gay rights in the media

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The Independent Online
Sir: Peter Tatchell's article ('Gay rights: as not seen on TV', 12 May) is correct in nearly all respects. However, all British broadcasting organisations, not just the BBC, ignore lesbian and gay equality as a serious human rights issue.

In radio and television, the BBC has produced some excellent programmes for, by and about lesbians and gays. However, these are rare and do not reflect the diversity, abundance and persecution of lesbians and gays in Britain. It is a national disgrace that last month neither ITN nor BBC Television news saw fit to cover the largest human rights demonstration in American history. Choose any other minority and it would have been covered.

There are good omens, though. Sexuality is part of the BBC's Equal Opportunities policy, and lesbian and gay staff here enjoy official recognition that enables dignity in the workplace. Respect, dignity and the truthful reflection of society should be the parameters that guide programme makers in Britain. On matters of sexuality, this is not the case.

What use is dignity as an employee, when as a consumer (of radio and television) you are reminded that you are a second-class citizen?

Yours faithfully,

TURAN ALI

Co-chair

BBC Lesbian and Gay Group

London, W12

13 May

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