OT Canada Blasts Dr. Laura

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Canada slams U.S. host Dr Laura over gay comments

Updated 2:31 PM ET May 10, 2000

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's official broadcast watchdog Wednesday issued a damning indictment of controversial U.S. radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, saying her anti-gay views could trigger violence against homosexuals.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) condemned Schlessinger for referring to the sexual behavior of gays and lesbians as "abnormal", "aberrant", "deviant", "disordered", "dysfunctional" and "an error".

Schlessinger's weekday U.S. call-in radio program, heard by an estimated 18 million listeners, is rebroadcast on some Canadian stations.

The CBSC said Schlessinger did not "advocate any of the homophobic hostility or, worse, brutality, which can be found in criminal corners of society".

But it added that the cumulative effect of her views on gay and lesbian issues "from her powerfully influential platform behind a very popular microphone...may well fertilize the ground for other less well-balanced elements, by her cumulative position, to take such aggressive steps."

Schlessinger denies being anti-gay or trying to foment intolerance toward gays and lesbians.

The CBSC said her comments -- which it variously described as "clearly pejorative" and "fatuous and unsustainable" -- had violated Canada's broadcast code.

"The sexual practices of gays and lesbians are as much a part of their being as the color of one's skin or the gender, religion, age or ethnicity of an individual," it said.

"To use such brutal language as she does about such an essential characteristic flies in the face of Canadian provisions relating to human rights."

The watchdog noted that professional psychiatric and psychological associations felt Schlessinger's views were more than a quarter of a century out of date.

In March, gay activists staged a boisterous rally outside the Paramount Pictures lot in Los Angeles to protest the studio's plans for a TV talk show hosted by Schlessinger.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), May 11, 2000


"To use such brutal language as she does about such an essential characteristic flies in the face of Canadian provisions relating to human rights."

O Canada! Well said.

-- (gays@re.humans), May 11, 2000.

I'm ashamed to say, though 1/2 Canadian, I know nothing of that country's rules/regs regarding free speech. Though I vehemently disagree with Laura on this one, I support her right to publicly air her views.

So there.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

Bingo, was that your better half? :)

I've avoided piling into this debate forever, but it's time. First, I don't believe the regulatory commission is saying this Laura woman should be silenced. I think it is providing a countervailing view that must also be heard.

"...her anti-gay views could trigger violence against homosexuals." and "...may well fertilize the ground for other less well-balanced elements, by her cumulative position, to take such aggressive steps." If no homosexuals were ever the victims of hate crimes, then her "freedom of speech" might indeed be harmless. It is one thing to intellectualize or theorize about something and quite another to see it applied.

Would anyone argue that the pre-WWII anti-Jew climate contributed to the resultant holocaust?

Sometimes "freedom of speech" silences its victims.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), May 11, 2000.

Can't agree with you, Viewer. Not even a little bit. We are light- years apart on this one. Opposite sides o' the fence.

I am responsible for my thoughts, vocalizations & actions. Period. I'm not responsible for yours. It reminds me of the old line, "if I told you to jump in a lake, would you do it?". If you jump in the lake, that's your decision, not mine.

Laura doesn't advocate violence. Her Old Testament views translate into 'gay is wrong because God said so'. That's her opinion!

I'm not going to go into my personal experiences with people who happen to be gay. Let's just say I know a few & love them dearly.


-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

Bingo, I'm not questioning your sense of responsibility nor your attitude toward others. I'm talking about "creating a climate."

Let's reminisce about the old forum. Would you agree that some views predominated there, and that for many it may well have seemed hopeless to have tried to present an alternate view? I'm not referring to y2k here, I'm thinking of abortion, gun control, gay rights, etc. For any reader it may well have appeared that the attitudes expressed were indeed those of most (all) of the board's participants. Yet now I learn on this board that many opposed the prevailing attitudes and just did not speak up. If you don't believe me, look at how beleaguered Gilda felt, to the point that she was virtually silenced. And look at the anger some of the regulars who opposed the dominant views on that board feel towards others who didn't speak up. Food for thought!

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), May 11, 2000.

Im sorry Viewer, I dont get where youre going with this.

b>CAUTION: Run-on sentence ahead:

Are you saying that because a few believe a concept to be true, which due to their use of a soapbox to espouse this view appear as a majority; and certain others are so weak as to change their views merely in order to fit in with the mirage of a majority, whilst others silence themselves so as not to appear contrary, or so as not to attract flames, therefore speech should be curtailed, homogenized, sent to the central scrutinizer (blatant FZ ref) for scrubbing?

Well? Is this what you mean? I really want to know where youre coming from on this. I don't see the commonality of Laura & the more frenzied TB'ers.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

That's interesting. The end tag that's missing in the "CAUTION" line above was typed into MS Word but didn't copy over to the post answer box. Everything else did. Weird.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

Bingo, don't take this personally. I just think that those who cry "freedom of speech" sometimes ignore the consequences and corollaries of that free speech. "...certain others are so weak as to change their views..." I am not referring to *changed* views, I am referring to the apparent "granting of permission" for them to *act* on such views.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), May 11, 2000.

Viewer, Im not taking it personally. Now if you tell me Im spiritually dead & living apart from God because I dont accept JC as my personal saviorwait that was my supervisornever mind.

As to granting of permission to act, what are you talking about? How does Laura stating her opinion that gay=bad give anyone implied permission to maim or kill? If someone gains the impetus to act negatively upon an individual/society based in part upon their interpretation of Lauras statements, well thats part of life. The alternative would be (careful not to invoke the central scrutinizer) a society filled with people in a constant state of dishonesty  within & without. Hey, thats what we have right now!

You see, I CRAVE honesty. I want Charlie over there to let me know he hates _____(insert group here). I need to know my supervisor looks upon my spiritual practice as evil. Lies are bad. Living lies is worse. Only by knowing ourselves, and knowing where we want to go as people, may we then make proper course corrections.

Perhaps Im wasting bandwidth chasing this one, but what the heck, Im feeling kinda perky today.


-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

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