Friday, July 25, 2008

Sensationalised much?

I'm not a very political gay. I'm not into going to Pride and while I support the right for Gay Marriage, I won't heading off to protest any time soon. But this story on the Courier Mail website from AAP has really pissed me off this morning.

"Doctor's Criticise Lesbian IVF Case" blares the headline. It definitely caught my interest. I have a lesbian friend who has used IVF to conceive her children and would hate to see some precedent land her in trouble for her family in the future, so I read on -

"A lesbian couple who tried to sue their doctor after having IVF twin girls shouldn't have been allowed to take the case to court, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says."

So what are the suing for? They had girls when they were promised boys? Has the doctor harassed them? Was there some dodgy dealings surrounding their sexuality?

No - they are suing because they only wanted one embryo implanted, but the doctor put two up there and now they have to raise two children. They wanted the doc to pay the schooling costs of the second child. Their claim has been dismissed.

It annoys me that they have played up the gay/lesbian angle in this story. If it was a straight couple they wouldn't have used the word "straight" in the headline, so why use the term lesbian? Would they mention the race of the couple if they were Asian or Aboriginal? No, that would be racist.

The story goes a long way to marginalise lesbians, and could at a pinch be seen to be vilifying them. The tone of the story suggests that this couple are greedy. It mentions their combined income and implies that they are well off enough to raise a second child.

The fact that this is a lesbian couple has no bearing on the outcome on the trial and the story so why mention that fact?

This is shoddy journalism. Using sensationalist terms (though lesbian isn't that controversial any more) will potentially cause a flurry of interest from Christin and right-wing groups, and get more page hits. Well it got me to read it.

Pick up your game AAP.

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