Friday, 07 January 2011

Gay Rights Group Petitions CNN

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Further proof that freedom of speech is increasingly under attack can be found in a recent endeavor by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. GLAAD presented a petition on Thursday to CNN for the network to prohibit guest appearances by representatives of the “anti-gay industry.”

GLAAD's Dan Savage, in a November appearance on CNN, “called out the network for allowing anti-gay bigots to peddle their hatred on the airways in the name of having a balanced debate.”

Following his appearance, GLAAD launched a petition drive. According to the petition, “CNN has long been one of America’s most respected journalistic organizations on many issues, but for several years, it has had a giant blind spot when it comes to issues that impact the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community.”

The petition appears to have been prompted by a recent John King USA segment on which Peter Sprigg, senior fellow at the Family Research Council — a conservative group that promotes “faith, family, and freedom in public policy and public opinion” — articulated his opposition to the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

The gay and lesbian group asserts that Sprigg is working “to advance some of the most hurtful, dangerous, and demonstrably false notions about the lives of LGBT people that our country has seen in recent years.”

While appearing on CNN, Sprigg was questioned about the following remarks made by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council:

The Senate repealed "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" because it endears them to one of the greatest sources of campaign dollars in America: the homosexual lobby. And as that lobby stands triumphantly on the rubble of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," they’ll tell you that they can already see [gay] marriage in the distance.

King then asked Sprigg if he agreed with Perkins’ assertions that Congress in fact repealed the law for campaign purposes. Sprigg responded:

I think that’s a part of the reason why Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid made this a top priority during the lame duck session; it’s kind of astonishing to me that with so many things they had to deal with [such as] funding the government, with preventing a massive tax increase on January 1, dealing with a major arms’ limitation treaty, that they would even give any attention in the lame duck session to this issue. They have been sort of shameless in trying to push through their liberal agenda before they lose the reins of power.

When asked if he believed that same-sex marriage would be the next item on the liberal agenda, Sprigg responded that it is possible the homosexual movement sees marriage as “the next frontier” and this is “giving momentum to the legalization of same-sex marriage”:

I think the same-sex marriage issue is very different from this issue. This is an issue in which you had homosexuals as individuals being excluded from participating in the military for what we believe are valid reasons, but nevertheless, it was an individual issue. The marriage issue is about granting special benefits, special affirmations to same sex couples and homosexual relationships and that’s a very different situation.

Sprigg also addressed concerns that the policy repeal could potentially lead to increased casualties, an issue first raised by General Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps. Sprigg pointed to testimony given by General John Sheehan, who referenced a story from the Vietnam War when soldiers engaged violently with one another as a result of sexual assault.

According to The Blaze, “CNN released a statement saying that they appreciated GLAAD’s 'concern for objective and fair reporting,' and promised to continue to book the best guests who 'have opinions that reflect different points of view across the country.'"

The Family Research Council is not the first to be targeted by GLAAD for allegedly anti-gay remarks. In September, GLAAD asked hip-hop sensation 50 Cent to retract the following anti-gay statement made on Twitter:

Paris Hilton called me a douche bag so I had my homie shoot up a gay wedding. Wasn’t his but still made me feel better.

Ace Showbiz  reports, “GLAAD bosses are urging 50 Cent to let his fans know that anti-gay violence isn’t something to joke about.”

 In response, 50 Cent deleted his tweet.

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