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Mooney show rapped over discussion on same-sex marriage

DEREK Mooney's radio show has been rapped on the knuckles for a show featuring a discussion on same-sex marriage.

The BAI has ruled in favour of a complaint made against the Mooney Show on RTE Radio where he told his two guests: "I hope you do get gay marriageā€¦ I hope it does come in."

Complainant Donal O'Latchford-Sullivan of the Family and Media Association said there were no voices opposing same-sex marriage during the item.

He claimed that guests Michael Murphy, one of the first people in Ireland to have a same-sex union, and Tiernan Brady of GLEN were openly in favour of the proposed legislation.

He also claimed the discussion amounted to a debate where one side was forcibly absent and that both guests and presenter Derek made statements in support of it.

debate

The item came in the wake of new figures showing that more than 2,500 people had same-sex unions since the legislation was introduced in 2011.

However, Mr O'Latchford-Sullivan alleged that the subject of same-sex marriage will be a matter of debate in the upcoming referendum.

He said this shouldn't be pre-empted by an "unbalanced programme" or by the presenter giving his personal opinion.

Mr Mooney opened up about his sexuality in 2012, where he said that being gay was "no big deal".

In its response to the complaint, RTE said that "giving voice to the expression of diverse views" was key to an uncensored media.

Discussing the rights of gay people was part of RTE's duty as a national broadcaster to ensure that Ireland's diverse nature was reflected.

It added that the Mooney Show was a light entertainment programme and Derek regularly expressed his opinion that people should have the right to practice whatever they like as long as it didn't hurt or interfere with other people's rights.

In its decision, the BAI's Compliance Committee said the programme discussion was not fair, objective or impartial.

It said the presenter making a statement in respect of changes in Irish law in respect of same-sex marriage was akin to taking sides on a matter of current affairs.

When asked for a comment, an RTE spokeswoman said they never comment on decisions made by the BAI.

mfinn@herald.ie


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