Twitter users furious at BBC gay debate

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Twitter users are complaining about a debate on the BBC’s website which asks ‘Should homosexuals be executed?’.

The question appears on the BBC News website as part of the Have Your Say feature, where readers can comment on current news stories.

The debate centres on Uganda, where an anti-gay bill is passing through parliament. It would impose execution or life imprisonment on gays, its sponsor David Bahati MP says.

Twitter users have complained that the question incites hatred towards gays, as a number of commentators have expressed praise for the law.

One BBC reader wrote: “Bravo to the Ugandians [sic] for this wise decision, a bright step in eliminating this menace from your society.”

Others said that homosexuality was “unnatural” but that execution was too harsh.

The BBC’s rules for its comment boards state that homophobia and inciting violence are not permitted.

Twitter users questioned why the question needed debating, while two said they had reported the BBC to police for committing a hate crime.

Labour MP for Falkirk Eric Joyce tweeted that he was going to mention the debate in the House of Commons shortly, saying: “They’re encouraging debate without constraint or direction. It’s simply not a legitimate question to ask in a value free way.”

One reader said debates on the murder of Jews in World War II concentration camps would not be allowed.

Abi Christopher said: “It’s the equivalent to having a debate on if Jews should be exterminated in concentration camps. How would heterosexuals feel if debated if heterosexuals should be executed?”

The BBC had not commented by the time of publication.