March 15, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is combating this with a new Commentator Accountability Project, which “aims to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of over three dozen activists who are often given a platform to speak in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.” They are working with the always excellent Jeremy Hooper from Good As You, who many of you know from his blogging on the right wing that he’s cross-posted here at P8TT. He has been documenting various hate groups and commentators for years, reporting on their appearances in media outlets and the horrendous rhetoric they’re fond of spouting quite often.
The Huffington Post reports:
By visiting www.glaad.com/cap and following #glaadcap on twitter, editors, writers, network executives, producers, guest bookers and those in the LGBT community and its allies can become informed about the actions of these activists, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, report new anti-LGBT remarks they’ve encountered, as well as nominate other anti-LGBT commentators to be featured in the database.
Scott Wooledge at Daily Kos recently reported on one incident in which Maggie Gallagher was confronted by Richard Kim on Up With Chris Hayes for saying hateful things in one venue while trying to appear reasonable in another:
Chris begins by rightfully addressing why her organization does not address the issue that higher divorce rates coincided with the passing of “no-fault” divorce laws. If the goal was to focus on improving marriage, wouldn’t repealing “no-fault” divorce laws be a better target than stopping marriage equality?
Maggie, begins by saying she’s not an opponent of “marriage equality,” she opposes “same-sex” marriage.
Kim: I think you and your organization have really failed to present any evidence that same-sex marriage impacts heterosexual marriages. You also however have advocated for gay reparative therapy, as has the National Organization for Marriage, you have called homosexuality a “dysfunction” and not normal…
Gallagher is really quite angry at this accusation.
Gallagher: No! I have not! I have not!
I have not done any of those things!
Gallagher: Well, I’ve never advocated for gay reparative therapy, and the National Organization for Marriage does not. We focus on fighting for laws that define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
Unfortunately for Maggie, the proof that National Organization for Marriage is a fan of gay reparative therapy still lives on the The Ruth Institute blog, described as a “A Project of the National Organization for Marriage.” It features an interview with a “therapist” Phillip Sutton, PhD who is affiliated with the notorious National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). You know, the clinic affiliated with George Rekkers, who was later caught with a rent boy? They canned him for that.
Think Progress notes that conservatives are already lashing out at GLAAD for initiating this project:
- The Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber called CAP an “Orwellian blacklist” established by “homo-fascists” trying to “silence Christian warriors.”
- Focus on the Family claimed that GLAAD was trying to “intimidate the media into forfeiting their constitutional right to freedom of the press.”
- Kevin McCullough railed against CAP as a guest host on American Family Association radio and told Politico that GLAAD is trying to “shut people’s voices down.”
- The Alliance Defense Fund claimed that CAP “targets free speech.”
- Ex-gay activist Randy Thomas defended the several individuals on the list, claiming they “would never say anything offensive for the sake of simply being offensive.”
Conservatives are throwing out the “you’re suppressing our free speech by reporting on and exposing our speech” canard, as they often do. When they’re not resorting to that cliche, they are claiming to be victims of the vicious pro-gay left, as is typical for them. Claiming gays are bullies is commonplace, but as Think Progress suggests:
The genius of CAP is that it creates a lose-lose situation for these would-be pundits. They can try to compensate by doubling down on their most offensive talking points and how loudly and widely they share them. Or, they can proceed with their typical media appearances and attempt to use the victim mentality to obfuscate responsibility for their own views. Either way, they stand to lose public favor, and no matter how they condemn GLAAD, that’s surely why they’re so perturbed.
They’re really backed into a corner at this point. I have a feeling they’ll just ratchet up the hate speech. We shall see.