Friday, 8 May 2009

Mail uses paedophile story to push homophobia

The guilty verdicts against eight men involved in a paedophile ring in Scotland is a horrendous story. But even something this serious can be - for want of a better word - abused by shameless tabloids to further their agenda.

The Daily Mail decides to turn its insidious focus on to one element of the story in its headline: Gay rights campaigner led a double life as leader of paedophile ring that carried out a catalogue of child abuse. Because it likes to imply there's a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.

James Rennie was involved in LGBT Scotland and the Mail is clearly trying to fan some homophobic outrage by pointing out the group was 'a publicly-funded support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people' and 'received £1.1million in 2008 from the Executive, councils and health boards.' He also 'lobbied strongly for gay adoption.'

The question is this: would any of this emphasis or detail be included if he was straight, married and worked in another charitable field? Probably not. Indeed, in the short picture profiles of each of the men, four of them are implied to be gay whereas the other four do not have any such mention of their sexuality. Why not?

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