Thursday 14 May 2009

Mind your language, says the Daily Mail

The Daily Mail is worried about needlessly offensive language in its front-page splash today

It charges the BAAF's Pink Guide to adoption with thoughtless offensiveness in branding opponents of gay adoption as 'retarded homophobes'. The Mail's report quotes - below - some rather reasonably voiced criticisms of why many might think this offensive, from Christian groups and disability campaigners.

The case for civility and respect - even or especially when we disagree deeply with each other - is a good one.

Just out of interest, what's the Mail's banner headline?


Shurely shome mishtake?

BAAF report:

Would-be gay adopters were told: 'Most importantly, don't worry about society. Children need good parents much more than retarded homophobes need an excuse to whinge, so don't let your worries about society's reaction hinder your desire and ability to give a child a loving caring home.'


Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute thinktank, said last night: 'Christians are tired of being marginalised.

'We don't expect everyone to agree with us but organisations such as the BAAF should try to avoid this kind of language.'

Tory MP Julian Brazier, co-chairman of the all-party Commons group on adoption and fostering, said: 'I work with BAAF all the time and I know how much they bring to adoption. 'I must say I am very sad that they should use this language about people who have an honest disagreement with them.'


It also offended disability campaigners, who have been trying to discourage the use of the word 'retarded' for years. Whitehall has banned the word for civil servants.

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