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Marriage campaigners have called for greater diversity of viewpoint at the BBC as a survey shows at least a quarter of British adults still support traditional marriage.

Coalition for Marriage (C4M) criticised the corporation for denigrating the views of millions of licence fee payers who disagree with same-sex marriage.

It backed comments made by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who has called for “genuine diversity of thought and experience” at the BBC.

C4M Chairman Colin Hart said: “As a public broadcaster, funded by the licence fee, the BBC should do all it can to represent the people who pay for it.

“This means truly reflecting the diversity of views that exists amongst the British public about marriage, not just the views of metropolitan elites.”

He added: “The BBC must take action to better serve the nation it represents or risk alienating huge swathes of the population who have traditional beliefs.”

Unacceptable bias
The Culture Secretary had been speaking at a media conference earlier this week when he said: “The BBC needs to be closer to, and understand the perspectives of, the whole of the United Kingdom and avoid providing a narrow urban outlook.”

He said this went beyond diversity of people on and off screen, and included “making sure there is genuine diversity of thought and experience”.

Former Cabinet minister Lord Lilley criticised the BBC for what he said was its unacceptable bias.

“Instead of informing, it censors; instead of educating, it seeks to indoctrinate; instead of entertaining, it seeks to preach.”

‘Worthy of respect’
The support for traditional marriage was highlighted in a new YouGov survey of more than 5,000 Brits. It showed that 24 per cent of adults think same-sex marriage is wrong, and that 16 per cent don’t know.

Mr Hart commented: “Whether the BBC likes it or not, millions of Brits hold traditional views about marriage and their beliefs are worthy of respect.

“They should not be made to feel invisible or unwelcome by the nation’s main broadcaster. It’s time for the BBC to reflect the population it serves and to stop ignoring or denigrating socially conservative values.”

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Date published: 12/03/2020

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