Thursday, March 21, 2013

Combat the USA Today's love letter to the religious right

Today, an article in the USA Today sent me farther north than I would prefer to be.

The article, Gay marriage? These voices say 'No' and explain why, focused on those who oppose marriage equality, i.e. organizations such as the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage and folks like Brian Brown and Tony Perkins.

Nothing wrong with that. And though I was not happy about the slant of the article - i.e. Brown, Perkins and company are portrayed as  "defenders of traditional marriage" - I could have dealt with the slant if the writer, Richard Wolf, looked as if he actually wrote the article.

If you will forgive me for being blunt, the way this article was written looked as if Wolf handed a series of questions to these folks while telling them to write anything and he would "pretty it up" later.

In other words, this isn't an good article. It's an incomplete piece of nonsense which is highlighted by the fact that Wolf glossed over the tactics of these groups. He pretty much omits the fact that these groups and individuals have possessed a long-term animus against the gay community.

I am not kidding.  Wolf writes about Brown and NOM and William Owens and his group, the Coalition of African-American Pastors, without mentioning NOM's gay vs. black strategy. He doesn't even mention the fact that Owens is on NOM's payroll and CAAP was attempting to undermine Obama's support in the African-American community while NOM was supporting Romney.

Wolf talks about Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, making sure to note that awful shooting last year. But he omits comments by FRC staffers expressing the desire to deport gays and to criminalize homosexuality. He omits the lies, junk science, and cherry-picking of studies FRC routinely engages in to demonize the lgbt community. He doesn't even mention Perkins' comments comparing us to pedophiles and terrorists.

Basically, every organization and person spotlighted in Wolf's article has a history of defaming the gay community in the same manner racists defame African-Americans, but Wolf fails to mention these important details.

Wolf's article is sad but it is also totally indicative of what the lgbt community has to deal with when it generally comes to the mainstream media and their articles about religious right groups. Too often, the lies and tactics used against us - the comparisons to pedophilia, the studies taken out of context, the ugly omission of our families and children, and the reduction of the entirety of our lives to a sex act - are either glossed over or not referred to at all.

And religious right groups get a free pass to plead Christian ennui while they hide their true motives and actions.

I say this time, we don't allow this situation to pass without comment.  On the right side of the link to the article is a way to contact Wolf. I say that as many of us as possible write this man and tell him that his article omitted a huge amount.  Please go to this page and leave a comment about Wolf's article on the comments and clarifications section. The organizations he spotlighted are not groups attempting to "protect" so-called traditional marriage. They are, in fact, bigoted groups willing to hide their homophobia behind religious beliefs.

Be nice but make sure to include a copy of GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project so in the future, he knows who he is dealing with.

And maybe a copy of How They See Us wouldn't hurt.


BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

This is what I just sent to 6 different departments at USA. I'm sure someone will see it.
I don't have a Twitter account but there is a guy named Brent Jones that is in charge of Ethics at USA Today and he does.

Did you do ANY research before writing "Gay marriage? These voices say 'No' and explain why" Mr.
Richard Wolf?
You almost made them sound like innocent victims AND failed to expose the truth about these groups and selected individuals. They are not just the "protectors of traditional marriage". They ARE called Hate Groups for a reason. You might want to bookmark these 2 pages. Please find them useful in the future.

How They See Us

BlackTsunami said...