News Corp’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has copped a backlash for appearing to list being same-sex attracted as a health problem in its Wednesday edition.
The article was headlined “Fat chance of being healthy” and “Young Aussies only have themselves to blame” and reported on the findings of a New South Wales Government report on young people.
In an accompanying infographic, the Telegraph presented several statistics about youth obesity, alcohol abuse and illicit drug use alongside the report’s finding that “16.8% of secondary school students in Australia are attracted to people of the same sex as them or to both sexes.”
The layout of the Telegraph‘s story was met with condemnation on social media on Wednesday.
The Greens’ LGBTIQ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said the Telegraph should immediately retract the “shameful” story and apologise.
“To all the young people or parents of gay or bisexual teens that opened up the Daily Telegraph to read that diverse sexuality is a health problem, I am so sorry,” she said.
“This reads like an ill-informed article from the last century. It is 2017, we should not be reading this sort of stuff in our newspapers.
— Nick Maconachie (@NMaconachie) July 11, 2017
“To align being gay or lesbian next to obesity or drug addiction sends a dangerous signal that must be immediately condemned.
“[The headline] ‘young Aussies only have themselves to blame’ suggests that being gay or bisexual is a choice.
“Of course that is not true and also sends a dangerous message.”
Daily Telegraph editor Chris Dore defended the story, saying the headline “clearly referred to the health issue of obesity, as did the accompanying story” and the story’s presentation had been “misinterpreted”.
“The graphic that sat alongside the story took statistics from the NSW Government’s Youth Health Framework report 2017 to 2024, capturing a broader snapshot of the lives of our young people,” he said.
“It is a statistical picture of young people’s lives, from where they live to how they live.
“The story in no way suggests, or intends to suggest, that same-sex relationships are unhealthy. There is no judgement expressed at all in the story other than about diet.”
Murdoch’s @dailytelegraph calling same-sex attraction a health issue.
Hate-mongering tabloids have no place in 2017 pic.twitter.com/EOh3AoVvvQ
— GetUp! (@GetUp) July 12, 2017
— PatriciaKarvelas (@PatsKarvelas) July 12, 2017
Being gay is not a health problem, but dishonest/sloppy reporting about LGBTI people can cause higher levels of psychological distress. pic.twitter.com/4J2OdU4F7o
— Jason Ball (@jasonballau) July 12, 2017
— Em Rusciano (@EmRusciano) July 12, 2017
— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) July 11, 2017
Being same sex attracted is not a health concern! I repeat, is ?? not ?? a ?? health?? concern ?? @dailytelegraph
— Desiree Cai???? (@iamDesireeCai) July 12, 2017
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