Belfast Telegraph

LGBT group angry at 'unashamedly homophobic' discussion on Nolan Show

By Gareth Cross

Prominent Northern Ireland LGBT group The Rainbow Project has hit out at a discussion on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show on Thursday morning.

Stephen Nolan and guests journalists Lynnette Burrows and Fionola Meredith were discussing same-sex dance partners Giovanni Ciacci and professional dancer Raimondo Todaro competing in the final of the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Mrs Burrows said she was "not keen on the idea at all" and said it would be a "revolting spectacle".

Mr Nolan asked "what is revolting about two men dancing?".

Mrs Burrows said that it was an "instinctive feeling" and said she had recently been in New York she was surprised how "revolting" she saw the sight of two men kissing.

She said it "turned her stomach".

Ms Meredith responded to say her comments were "incredible".

In response to questioning from Mr Nolan, Mrs Burrows said that being gay was a "chosen way of life which flies in the face of Christian morality".

Ms Meredith said she was "almost speechless" and that Mrs Burrows views were "prejudiced" to which Mrs Burrows agreed.

Mrs Burrows was previously investigated by police in England in 2005 due to comments she made on BBC Radio's The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

She said she did not believe gay people should be allowed to adopt and that it would be "a risk" placing boys with two homosexual parents as it would be placing a young girl with two male hetrosexual parents.

However, Mrs Burrows was not convicted of any offence.

After the show The Rainbow Project posted on their Twitter account that they felt the content of the show was "unacceptable"

"The content of the discussion on BBC Nolan this morning has been unashamedly homophobic," the post read.

"It is unacceptable to have straight people debate whether or not same-sex couples are revolting.

"Were these contributors paid by the licence fee for these comments? We will find out."

Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister echoed the comments, saying they could affect listeners.

"What's also very infuriating is that Stephen Nolan and the BBC constantly give a platform to people who spout hatred that is doing so much harm to people listening," the Alliance councillor said.

"Show a bit of leadership, change the topic if you need to, we don't want excuses but we also don't need harm."

A BBC Spokeswoman responded to the criticism.

"The Nolan show gives listeners an important platform to discuss the big topics of the day," she said.

"Different and sometimes opposing views were heard on this morning's programme as callers debated the inclusion of same sex couples taking part in a dancing competition.

"The presenter robustly challenged some of the contributions.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph