BBC sorry over gay conversion tweet

Radio Kent Twitter poll Image copyright Twitter
Image caption BBC Radio Kent's poll has since been deleted from Twitter

The BBC has apologised for an online poll that asked whether gay conversion therapy is acceptable practice.

BBC Radio Kent tweeted: "TV Doctor Dr Ranj has told breakfast gay conversion therapy is akin to psychological abuse; Should gay conversion therapy be banned?"

The Gay Times said BBC radio had "asked the stupidest question".

The BBC deleted the tweet, which it said breached its own guidelines, and apologised for the offence it caused.

It added: "We accept that the poll was not the most appropriate way of dealing with this sensitive issue."

One of the many Twitter users who took exception to the tweet was Guardian columnist Owen Jones, who asked: "Why are you doing this?"

Dr Ranj Singh, from Chatham, who is the resident doctor on ITV's This Morning programme, had called for gay conversion therapy to be made illegal, during an interview on BBC Radio Kent that was prompted by the prime minister's recent condemnation of the controversial practice.

He said: "It should be illegal, it is akin to almost psychological abuse.

"We have to understand that it is not always black and white, there are some people who are definitely heterosexual, there are some people who are definitely homosexual and they know their identities, and there are some people who are in between."

Image copyright PA
Image caption During an interview on BBC Radio Kent, Dr Ranj Singh called for gay conversion therapy to be made illegal

The question "Should gay conversion therapy be banned?" was then posed to the station's 53,000 followers on Twitter, who were asked to either agree that it should be banned or say they thought it was an acceptable practice.

More than 100 people commented on the tweet, with most saying they were offended.

Some Twitter users also questioned the use of an emoji in the tweet that featured a lightning bolt, as gay conversion therapy practices can include electroshock treatment.

Human rights organisation Stonewall said it was unbelievable that the BBC thought it an appropriate topic for a poll.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

In 2015, 14 organisations, including NHS England, signed an agreement to stop gay conversion therapy being offered to patients.

Last month, BBC Radio Kent conducted a poll which asked: "Is it ever acceptable for people to 'Black up' even if it's for charity?"

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