News | Uganda

BBC Asks 'Should Homosexuals Face Execution?', Changes Mind


After outrage from readers after they put the execution of gays up for debate, the BBC has now changed its forum to ask, "Should Uganda debate gay execution?"

According to The Guardian, Debate "Premoderated posts included one from Chris, Guildford, posted at 8.59am, which attracted 51 recommendations of support. He wrote: 'Totally agree. Ought to be imposed in the UK too, asap. Bring back some respectable family values. Why do we have to suffer 'gay pride' festivals? Would I be allowed to organise a 'straight pride' festival? No, thought as much!! If homosexuality is natural, as we are forced to believe, how can they sustain the species? I suggest all gays are put on a remote island somewhere and left for a generation - after which, theoretically there should be none left!' Another, from Aaron in Freetown, said: 'Bravo to the Ugandans for this wise decision, a bright step in eliminating this menace from your society. We hope other African nations will also follow your bold step.'"

The AP reports: "The BBC's World Service Africa program editor, David Stead, defended the debate. In a blog posted on the BBC Web site, he said editors had 'thought long and hard about using this question' and sought to reflect the diverse views about homosexuality in Africa. 'We agree that it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake,' he said."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. The BBC defended the debate... what bullshit! Swap blacks, jews, muslims, pakistanis, ad naseum and there would be an audience for this putrid exchange.

    Just because they're crazy in Uganda doesn't mean that their 'debate' should be treated as reasonable. It's lunacy & even more Ugandans understand that.

    What a disappointment to see the BBC go the way of American-style provocative Info-tainment!

    Thumbs-down... big-time!

    Posted by: stephen | Dec 16, 2009 6:05:37 PM

  2. no homosexuals should not face execution ... but some reporters at the BBC should (for this!)

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Dec 16, 2009 6:05:51 PM

  3. Should Jews face execution?
    Should the disabled face execution?
    Should blacks face execution?
    Should undocumented immigrants face execution?
    Should single mothers face execution?
    Should journalists face execution?
    Should Ugandans face execution?
    Should the blind face execution?
    Should barren women face execution?
    Should the illiterate face execution?

    Posted by: jpastor717 | Dec 16, 2009 6:11:43 PM

  4. @stephen Personnally, I agree with you about substituting other groups, however, the stark question actually makes me think to themselves, "this is horrible, of course this shouldn't happen!" It's a great little piece of mind jarring reality theater. I think our own purposes would be much better served by shock tactics like this than those dumbass "equality" commercials that portray us as "just like you."

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Dec 16, 2009 6:12:08 PM

  5. David Stead is obviously not Gay.

    I have an idea, why doesn't the BBC debate whether Black a/o African people should face execution and see how Mr. Stead feels about that.

    I hope this idiot is fired by the end of the week.

    Posted by: chasmader | Dec 16, 2009 6:29:02 PM

  6. Email the editor who thinks this is a cool thing to do. No problem he says.. whats wrong with the debate. What an idiot.

    His email is

    Posted by: john hernik | Dec 16, 2009 6:32:34 PM

  7. Like it or not, RELIGION is and has always been the biggest threat to continued existence on this planet for anyone.

    ANYTIME a religion decides they don't like you, they can get away with any and all forms of heinous abuse and murder and claim religious freedom - blame it on the imaginary god.


    The xian god is a child rapist. Why should his worshippers have a free hand to abuse others?

    If I were to walk up to a 12 - 16 year-old (most biblical scholars agree Mary was in that age range when she was raped and impregnated) and say "I'm god and I want to start a new religion. Let's have sex." I'm guessing most xians would have a problem with that.

    And if gays treated xians the way xians treat gays, well, do I even need to finish that thought?

    Why aren't they (xians) smart enough to take a step back and look at just what and who they are worshipping and giving their money to...? Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, Swaggart... They are all always VERY well-dressed (okay, Falwell's $1000.00 suit is disintegrating by now) and living in very expensive homes and driving very expensive cars and flying around in private jets. I missed the chapter that condones that in the bible.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Dec 16, 2009 6:40:19 PM

  8. I pay no attention to the BBC.

    Posted by: Jimmy/Boston | Dec 16, 2009 6:41:37 PM

  9. What if it read, "Should all Ugandans be rounded up and shipped overseas and traded as property?" Bet that would have some people up in arms. At one time, that probably was debated, and the Churches that these people so fastidiously cling to supported that institution based on the Bible.

    Posted by: Jon B | Dec 16, 2009 6:50:53 PM

  10. How can they even submit this question to a poll?
    It's a real shame!! Are we back to the Nazi's era ?

    Posted by: dani | Dec 16, 2009 6:51:54 PM

  11. Here's my e-mail to David Stead:
    Congrats on the publicity. That's what you were after, right? You couldn't have really thought something relevant or useful would come out of a debate about whether or not homosexuals should be executed!

    Substitute blacks, pakistanis, jews, muslims, women, whatever and ask the same question. Hard to do isn't it, and yet you were able to convince yourself that some necessary discussion would occur if the question were asked about gays?

    Gov'ts do idiotic things all the time, but because they do, does not mean that a formally esteemed news source should validate their crazy behavior by proposing an irrational debate be met with a rational one. Should the woman who has "brought shame on her family by having been raped" also have to endure an on-line poll to determine what percentage of people think they found the right solution. jeesh; your ignorance is astounding.

    I can only assume that your goal is to become a provocative, info-tainment news source such as FOX. Good luck with that. What a dunce.

    Stephen S.

    Posted by: stephen | Dec 16, 2009 7:02:38 PM

  12. THis simply isn't a legitimate question. It's meaning is that of a moral one given the normative "should," yet anyone who would answer in the affirmative isn't a human being (or person, if you prefer), and since it applies to human conduct, is simply not a moral question. Anyone who would answer affirmatively has defined themselves outside of morality, and has forfeited any positive rights they have to be treated like a person... Further, they're not to be treated like non human's puzzling how we are to treat those who have given up personhood and their right to be treated with dignity and respect.

    There is no "from their perspective," or their side of the story...they have no ground to stand on.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 16, 2009 7:05:12 PM

  13. Fire whomever is responsible for this atrocity.

    Posted by: Drake | Dec 16, 2009 7:13:34 PM

  14. Lol!

    You expect anything different from the corporate world that has decided we are not good for intergenerational business, which is the only business model they have left during a world wide depresion?

    Drop your bibles and step away from the religion.

    Posted by: New Jersey Girl | Dec 16, 2009 7:37:02 PM

  15. The BBC, for all its phenomenal journalism, has had many, many missteps...this is one of their biggest,,,what were they thinking?

    And what makes people think that they can pinpoint a minority and wonder out loud if they should be legally able to dispose of this not what Hitler and the Nazis did?

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Dec 16, 2009 7:45:39 PM

  16. This man is a moron. He fails realize two important things. We gays would not become extinct after one generation! We're too smart for that, we would have sex with our lesbian friends (twice), impregnant them, one baby goes to the lesbian couple and one to the gay male couple and voila, continued species. Then we could raise an army and invade, "The United States of Homophobes!" We would win, take over the country, recruit all the str8 boys and girls to our side and get that toaster we always wanted. Secondly, does he really think that no more gays would be born to str8 parents? I think not.

    Posted by: Harry | Dec 16, 2009 7:53:53 PM

  17. I sent this email to and I think you should, too:

    Should David Stead Face Execution?

    I believe it is now a relevant topic to be discussed on

    What do you think, David?

    Posted by: G | Dec 16, 2009 7:56:19 PM

  18. Great suggestion "G." I just dropped Mr. Stead an e-mail

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 16, 2009 8:16:24 PM

  19. BBC, you guys are a bunch of dumb fucking shits. People think the same of Jews, blacks, hispanics. Nuff said. Oh, did I tell you you guys are a bunch of dumb fucking shits?

    Posted by: David T | Dec 16, 2009 8:44:28 PM

  20. Folks lets not get our panties all bloodied up This is coming from the BBC, I bet they to think their the master race.

    Posted by: frankk | Dec 16, 2009 9:28:32 PM

  21. I agree and disagree. The stark reality is that Uganda is currently debating whether or not to kill people who are gay. That's what the question is about. I don't think it was meant to allow people who devalue human life and dignity to air their hate and genocidal beliefs, but to be blunt and frank as to what is currently going on in Uganda.

    That said, this whole piece does have an air of naiveté of how people could be impacted by the headline. Did they not think that the question would be taken as offensive, and did the potential offensiveness of the question outweigh whatever blunt message they were trying to make? I think it was definitely wrong to put this question in a poll, also.

    Posted by: Leo | Dec 16, 2009 9:38:28 PM

  22. While their stated intent may have been to bring attention to the possibility of mass executions, the original headline question allows the debate to be framed without reference to Uganda. Reading the comments from the BBC thread shows the gamut that was run by people due to that phrasing. There are the usual religious gambits. There are the usual moral decay gambits. And many of the commentators didn't care about the location of the executions at all, some even desiring to bring them to their own non-African countries as a solution to the "homosexual problem."
    There are a number from Africans wondering why African countries' policies on the matter are focused upon while similar Middle Eastern policies are left to exist. Even the cultural relativity argument pops up in their commenting. That at least sounds more like what the BBC was hoping their phrasing would generate.
    But in general, it's a free-for-all in which the murderous impulses of the posters are there to see, due to the continued, weak, minority status of the undesirables in question.

    What was "the real issue at stake" for the David Stead and by extension, the BBC? Is it the possibility of countless deaths, whether by witch hunt or "evidence"? Those who would die under that law were maligned numerous times in the thread, their potential deaths lauded and welcomed. Is it homosexuality in Africa? The stance of people that cultural relativism absolves African's state-sanctioned murderous desire was apparent in the comments as was the stance that homosexuality is a colonial artifact, absolutely foreign to Africa. Is it discrimination through this bill? Again, the focus on death as positive outcome in the comments does not bring anything to the table on this front either. Is it really the diverse views about homosexuality in Africa? Again most of the BBC commentators were not African, but from outside Africa, and mostly didn't comment on the views in Africa, letting their own views make their comments.

    Posted by: DR | Dec 16, 2009 10:19:05 PM

  23. If their intent was to shock people out of complacency by posing the question, then why do they also present the answers?

    Anyone who would answer "yes" to the question "should gays be executed" does not deserve forum on the BBC, and giving those people a voice is a grave mistake.

    Posted by: Kevin | Dec 16, 2009 10:57:20 PM

  24. Actually, all this could come as a godsend....if gay's finally get together they could put all this into symbolism linking gay haters like Palin, Kern, Hannity, O'Reilly, Maggie Gallagher, Prejean, Diaz, Brian Brown, religious leaders, Republicans etc., as promoting hate and indirectly causing this new push for genocide. Show them as the true bigots they are.

    Click on my nomen below and see a cartoon from 1939 which reflects genocide by humans. It is called "Peace On Earth".

    Posted by: CB | Dec 16, 2009 11:48:53 PM

  25. JPastor17 said:
    Should Jews face execution?
    Should the disabled face execution?
    Should blacks face execution?
    Should undocumented immigrants face execution?
    Should single mothers face execution?
    Should journalists face execution?
    Should Ugandans face execution?
    Should the blind face execution?
    Should barren women face execution?
    Should the illiterate face execution?

    Posted by: jpastor717 | Dec 16, 2009 6:11:43 PM

    UMMMMM you forgot one group
    Should the White Supremacists face execution?

    Posted by: Matty In NY | Dec 17, 2009 12:30:18 AM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Guide to the Tube #582« «