Calling homosexuality unnatural is “not sufficiently vitriolic”, according to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, in their verdict on yet another complaint against Breakfast TV host Paul Henry.
The Authority considers that on this occasion, particularly in the context of the entire discussion, the host’s comments were not sufficiently vitriolic and lacked the necessary invective to reach the threshold for encouraging discrimination against, or denigration of homosexuals for the purposes of the standard.
This time, Mr Henry asked if homosexuality was “wrong” in the context of whether same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.
Chatting with co-host Alison Mau on a live show last August about the issue of same-sex couples adopting children, Mau asked: “Why shouldn’t same sex couples raise children just as well as mixed sex couples?” Henry replied: “It’s not natural, is it?
“It’s not God’s sort of natural and I’m not even religious, but it can’t be, it’s not, like, natural, is it?,” he added. “Like you don’t get a whole clan of cave bears that are all male because that just couldn’t happen. It’s not natural.”
“I mean, it is unnatural though. We shouldn’t be frightened of saying that it’s unnatural. It is unnatural. Although homosexuality is through all species. I don’t know if it’s through all species but many, many species. A lot of monkeys are homosexual.”
“The thing is, though, if you go to any animal park, and I’ve got to be careful what I say here, but if you go to any animal park, you will find monkeys being filthy with each other.“
Despite the BSA decision being certain Mr Henry was not being “sufficiently vitriolic”, it does note some of the texts and emails sent in and read out on air, applauding his comments that same-sex sexual behaviour is wrong, unnatural and filthy. Clearly they weren’t enough to provide a denigrating environment for queer people.
Or, as Stuff so succinctly puts it, “Henry homosexuality comments ok”.
Tell that to one in four young queer people with depression or the one in ten who’ve tried to kill themselves in the last year. Homophobia is all about teaching queer people to hate ourselves.