Then just publish a nasty letter about a marginalised group, that’ll get everyone worked up. Which group – oh, how about the gays!
The media still views gay people as fair game and open to any sort of abuse under the guise of free speech. While the media has moved on from vilifying people because of their ethnic origins, skin colour or religious views gay people remain the OK segment of the community to single out for nasty treatment.
More gay propaganda through the TV
I SEE another television show has appeared on our screens with the token homosexual character. I want to remind readers that homosexuality is neither normal or natural. Firstly, a “same sex” relationship can never produce offspring and this is the primary purpose of all species. Secondly, homosexual intercourse is dangerous and very unhygienic. Forget the warm fuzzy propaganda; homosexuality is a sexual perversion.
I don’t doubt for one minute that people like Carol Zussino hold this view and will take whatever platform they have to tell everyone else about their bigoted point of view. There’s much in those few lines that is just so wrong.
My real issue is with the Gladstone Observer that actually gave Zussino space by publishing her letter. In their defence they said:
But if we censored this letter by refusing to publish it, we would have taken a dangerous step onto a very slippery slope.
Rejecting this letter – which we agree is inflammatory but does not breach defamation and other legal areas – would set a nasty precedent.
Suddenly, the measure we use to say no to Ms Zussino’s argument could be applied across a range of topics.
And if we started doing that we would quash the chance to foster debate in our community – and that would be a dark day indeed.
Where to start?
Newspapers censor letters all the time. They get hundreds of letters about all sorts of things and simply don’t publish them. If the letter had said “I see another television show had appeared on our screens with the token Jewish character” would the newspaper have shined the light in that dark area? If the letter had said “I want to remind readers that being in a wheel chair is neither normal or natural” would that be a dangerous step onto the slippery slope? If the letter said “Firstly a “multi-racial” relationship can never produce (white) off-spring” would that set a nasty precedent?
The Editor wants to ‘foster debate’, as if my sexuality is something that should be up for debate. Zussino uses ‘arguments’ that have been well settled and refuted many times. The non-heterosexual community is here, we are an accepted part of society. We know this because gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex and queer people are not locked up or fined for their sexuality. We move among the community. We love our husbands, wives, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, significant others. We hold down jobs, pay taxes, have families. We live to ripe old ages and want security in nursing homes to make sure we live out our last years with our life partner.
The suggestion that somehow the newspaper has an obligation to publish arguments because if they don’t they’d be accused of censoring debate is tenuous and tedious.
When you shine a light on the arguments of the likes of Zussino you soon discover that they are just plain silly, bigoted and out of step with modern society.
The Editor of the Gladstone Observer didn’t need to publish this letter at all. The Editor has made a decision to inflame hatred and to bring the paper some publicity by controversy. It took a section of its community and using the guise of free speech versus censorship vilified gay people.
That is disgusting.