CCTV host slams Lv Liping's gay slur

In an uncharacteristically bold move, a host on CCTV news has called for tolerance and respect towards homosexuality following the recent online slurs by award-winning actress Lv Liping.

In a late night commentary broadcast on CCTV 13 on Tuesday night under the banner "please respect each community group's choice", host Qiu Qiming slammed the 2010 winner of the Golden Horse Best Actress Award for homophobia.

He said, "We respect the faith of individual celebrities, and we allow them to have their own point of view on issues. But, that does not mean that we agree that a person of such influence should have the power to openly discriminate against certain communities in China."

Qui went on, "There is no doubt that the sexual orientation of certain people in our midst are different from the rest of us. But they are also diligently contributing to society. Gay people, like us, have the right to exist and develop themselves in society, and this right should not be overtaken by any other concept."

The courageous comments came after Lv sparked a storm of controversy online by posting on her micro blog on June 26 that "homosexuality is a crime loathed by God".

Thousands of netizens condemned her post. The born-again evangelical Christian then re-tweeted the homophobic comments with the opinions of a US clergyman decrying gays and lesbians as "shameful" and "sinners".

The homophobic remarks are also having an effect on her acting career.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien, chairman of the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Committee said following the incident they are considering banning Lv from the 2011 ceremony where she received the Best Leading Actress Award last year.