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The GLRF View

A blog on issues and news in the rowing community

Homophobia At British Airways

Posted by glrfcentral , 06 March 2012 · 8,223 views

We certainly hope the current web management practices at British Airways are a result of sloppy query code in blocking websites and not a pervasive attitude towards the gay and lesbian community.

At a recent visit to the British Airways North Lounge, Terminal B, London Heathrow Airport, GLRF team members were surprised to find the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation website was blocked and labeled as "adult content."  

In a tersely worded reply to the British Airways IT Administrator, GLRF Executive Director Brian Todd did not mince words in his view of the actions by the British Airways Information Technology department:


To the attention of the IT administrator,

It has come to our attention that the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation website is being blocked on the wired computer terminals at the North British Airways Lounge, Terminal B.  The reason listed for blocking the website is ‘Adult Content.’

The blocked url is http://glrf.info  

The subject and content of the website is entirely about rowing and serves to benefit both gay and lesbian rowers as well as the broader rowing community.  The website promotes a worldwide online rowing community and the focus is entirely about sport.  To exclude a website simply because it has the words gay and lesbian is unconscionable and it is blatantly homophobic.  Such selective internet filtering seems  to assume that any and all subject matter with the label of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ is deemed immoral and therefore only appropriate for adult viewers.  It would seem by these restrictions that British Airways condones the bullying of gay and lesbian youth and that their suicidal acts as a result of public hatred are “acceptable” losses.

We kindly request that you review the GLRF website and remove it from the list of “unacceptable” urls in the browser filtering programme.

Of course, British Airways can take comfort in its societal views about the morality of gay and lesbian people, since the GLRF website is also blocked at all United States Apple Stores .... and at all Gold's Gym franchisees

The corporate world might do well to review their blocking and filtering programmes that deem their core customers and audiences "immoral" and "unacceptable" in public life.

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