Saturday, January 14, 2006

Who's balance is it anyway?

Kevin Sharkey's appearance on the Late Late Show tonight seems to have irked RealityCheckdotie.

Sharkey was a guest on the show talking about his intention to bring an action to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that his rights are being infringed due to the inability to register same sex partnerships or marry. I am sure Mental Meanderings and others can talk about the advisability or potential for such a case.

Realitycheckdotie does not believe Kevin should have appeared on the show without 'someone providing an alternate point of view'. I wonder which alternate point of view would that be? The groups and organisations who misuse/fabricate statistics about lesbians and gay men and our relationships? Those who actually promote discrimination? The groups who do not condone discrimination but don't want rights given to lesbians and gay couples anyway? Or maybe the groups and organisations who represent no-one but made up a name to get on TV and claim to balance things? Ah sure why not bring in the groups and organisations who support murder and assault or incarceration of lesbians and gay men also while you are at it, TV researchers can find anyone these days to make a point.

Its funny after years of being taunted, ignored, beaten, humiliated, thrown out of our homes and our jobs, dying due to government inaction on HIV/AIDs, taking our own lives or engaging in acts of self-harm, forced into marriages to keep everyone else happy and lying to ourselves and others etc etc that when someone appears on TV to talk about the fact that his rights are being infringed and document his reality that there are calls for 'balance'?

I no longer appear in media discussions with people from groups who oppose lgbt rights, who fabricate statistics and who promote hate. Media platforms are not given to BNP representatives to incite hate against ethnic minorities in the UK and I don't believe that they should be given to anti gay groups either. I believe media outlets have a responsibility to ensure that the debate on civil partnership and lgbt rights in particular is one where lgbt’s do not have to defend their existence or right to life, and equality because of some bible bashers obsession with talking about back passages (Late Late Show 1989 and many other times subsequently.)

This is not balance when the 'other side' is one which seeks to deny rights to other individuals on the basis of hate speak (no matter how beautifully or condescendingly it is phrased). The other side in this debate could in fact be those lesbians and gay men who do not wish to register their relationships or have their identity and sexuality challenged by those seeking registration and/or marriage. Now that would be really interesting and balanced.


At 02:28, Anonymous Damien Mulley said...

Well said Suzy. Why do others find it a serious issue who I marry? Fair and balanced sounds like Fox News.

At 02:36, Anonymous morgan said...

I should point out that, in my own post, I was taking the p***. I'd like people to see the opposition for the sanctimoniously twisted hatred it really is, otherwise there's no point.

At 04:25, Blogger EWI said...

I don't watch the Late Late Show/Kenny Live, but we happened to have the TV on for this. I was pretty surprised by this coming out of the blue, I must say. It was a pretty gutsy move by Sharkey and the Kenny team both.

Irish people got to see Teh Gay, and it turned out that he was just an ordinary, decent man. I think this did a good deal of good for the gay community, and was pretty positive - as well as getting away from the stereotype of queens like Courtney or 'Norton', who can be difficult to become used to.

At 04:29, Blogger EWI said...

'someone providing an alternate point of view'

I've no idea what Auds means by this either. This country hopefully isn't just like the US yet, where the meeja have strange notions as to reporting.

(And where 'balance' would entail giving someone like Andrew MCann free rein, and treating him as though his view isn't loathable to all decent people)

At 10:36, Blogger Auds said...

I merely meant that there are legimate POVs about what way to legislate - marriage the same as heterosexual marriage? Civil Partnerships - what's involved - adoption? etc.

From those I know, myself included, who aren't fully accepting of the need for gay marriage, but have no problem with civil partnerships with certain benefits for those living together of any sexual oirentation - these are real questions.
It's not about hatred at all - marriage is an important institution and deserves debate at least.

"Fair and balanced sounds like Fox News."
I'm sorry you feel that way - I presume you think Fox News isn't fair and balanced.
Every issue that is topical and has 2 sides should be handled the same way - by giving oth sides equal oxygen to express themselves.
Then, and only then, let the rest of us be convinced. But don't expect us all to just hear 1 person speak and automatically think he's right.

Neither is it good enough to merely label all those who oppose gay marriage as santiminous twisted hater people who make shit up - these are just labels. It's not an argument.

At 11:38, Anonymous Damien Mulley said...

Well Auds, I'm still waiting for the invite for equal airtime at my local church when once again the parish priest reads a missive from the Pope saying why he wants to impinge on my way of life.

At 12:33, Blogger Auds said...

Damien there is 1 huge difference between the LAte Late and your parish church. You know what you're getting when you go into the local parish church - catholicism.
The Late Late/RTE is a public broadcaster, funded with our TV licences and they have a responsibility and an obligation to cover issues like this with some semblance of balance.
Believing what the Catholic Church teaches is your call. RTE don't have such a luxury - in the interests of open debate there must be attempt at providing coverage of all sides.

At 23:15, Anonymous morgan said...

My comment on "sanctimoniously twisted hatred" was paraphrased from an article by an opponent of UK civil partnerships, Tom Utley, writing in the Telegraph. A more complete extract from that article reads:

Many years ago, I wrote an extremely offensive article about homosexuals and homosexuality, which I have bitterly regretted ever since... I received more than a thousand letters from readers who shared my distaste for homosexual intercourse, and a handful attacking me. I can't decide which shamed me more - those from my supporters, many of whom expressed themselves in language even nastier than my own, or those from homosexuals who wrote in sorrow to rebuke me. I was hailed as a hero on obscure American websites, broadcast from the Bible Belt. It struck me that almost all my most vociferous admirers used their religion as an offensive weapon, a means of sanctifying their hatred of their fellow man. I didn't want friends like these, but I'm afraid that I deserved them...

I'm with Suzy. Balance is a strange notion. Does balance on the issue of racism have to involve equal time for the writers of A Tangled Web? Does balance on anti-semitism have to involve equal time for David Irving or Al-Qaradawi? Of course not. And Lesbian and gay rights are just as much a human rights issue.


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