Can the newspapers take a stand on the homos, please?

29 07 2010

If we had ever thought the media in Sri Lanka was showing some signs – SOME – of turning around and being supportive of lgbt rights, today’s ‘Editorial’  in the Daily Mirror puts that to rest. Seriously. By sounding like the rant of a disappointed misogynistic male who has it in for not only the lesbians but also the women’s organisations.

In case the recent blitz of pride photos in the newspaper made you think otherwise, no, this is NOT the first time that lgbt organisations worked with the media. Many years ago, a regular FAQ column was run in a Sinhala tabloid which discussed issues of sexuality. Several years ago during pre-election times, national dailies ran advertisements that asked voters to think whether the chosen candidates stood up for rights of lgbt people and people living with HIV/AIDS. That was before newspapers stopped printing such paid advertisements for fear of ‘problems from above’. So yes, we have regressed. This is how it is – you take two steps, slide three back, but you keep walking forward.

Now, the problem for me is not so much newspapers refusing to publish anything on lgbt or sexuality rights issues. The problem is that they are inconsistent. What’s with putting out publicity articles on pride celebrations, pseudo-celebrity interviews, surprise comments by state representatives, and then writing an editorial like this?

Is it too much to ask that

1. an editorial actually reads like a piece of sound content written by the most senior journalist in the newspaper?

2. the newspaper takes a fucking stand on an issue?

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7 responses

29 07 2010
pp

ahahahahahahaha. so now homosexuality and equal rights are also a conspiracy of the west and NGOs? this would be funny if it wasn’t scary. and silly.

29 07 2010
N

Wow….just wow….that is an editorial?!

29 07 2010
me

Yep it is too much to ask, simply because newspapers exist to sell papers..in fact to sell paper..the shape the ink makes on them is only relevant in terms of sales. An idealistic paper would be great, but they’re always killed by the economy.

30 07 2010
Palmyrah

In Sri Lanka, a homosexual act remains a criminal offence. The law is rarely enforced. It could, of course, be used as a means to persecute individuals the State doesn’t like, and maybe allow the police a bit of gay-bashing when they feel like it, but if there is a lot of that you don’t hear about it–at least, none of my numerous friends in the ‘community’ has complained of it in my hearing. I’m open to correction on this, of course.

Apart from being archaic and unjust, the law controverts several international treaties to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. It is the laws that need to be changed. The Daily Mirror article, though obnoxious and clearly the work of a pervert, isn’t really worth getting het up over. Opinion is free, after all, or should be.

I notice the article has had nearly 1,200 views but not a single comment on it has been published. What do you make of this?

30 07 2010
Vak

I think we can disagree on whether the article is worth getting het up over 🙂

Not many people are aware of what the Penal Code actually says but probably have a vague sense that homosexuality is criminalized (as opposed to the sexual act). Many of my gay male friends have told me of instances of threats and intimidation by the police as well as gay-bashing by men. With the queer women, it is more along the lines of complaints to police by families and verbal harassment and threats on the streets.

I do find the comment-less state of this article strange. I’ve put in a comment as well, earlier today, so I am waiting to see if it appears.

31 07 2010
Vak

Update: a little over a day since I made two comments and none have appeared in the comments section of the editorial.

1 08 2010
T

What a chauavnist, amateur piece of writing.

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