Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Best & Worst of National News February 2009


Suze Orman Speaks Out About Marriage Equality on CNBC

Financial guru Suze Orman took an opportunity on her nationally televised CNBC show to broadcast an important message to the American public on Valentine's Day. During the Feb. 14 broadcast of The Suze Orman Show, the host denounced the recently passed amendments banning marriage for same-sex couples in Florida and California, calling them "a travesty." Orman stressed the critical need for gay people to be able to marry so they can protect their finances. "Every single one of us deserves to have the same financial benefits, whether we are gay or whether we are straight," she said. "Every single one of us deserves to be loved. Every single one of us deserves to love and every single one of us deserves to make the most out of the money that we have. That's my Valentine's Day wish for every single one of us." Orman, who is openly lesbian, has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to LGBT equality, and she will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 28, 2009. You can find out more about the event here:


GLAAD urges you to contact Suze Orman and thank her for speaking out about the importance of marriage and its financial significance for all couples, gay and straight alike as well as congratulate her on receiving the GLAAD Vito Russo Award.

Suze Orman

The Denver Post Publishes Editorial Supporting Protections for Same-Sex Couples in Colorado

On Feb. 19, the Denver Post published "The right thing for gay couples," an editorial supporting two bills currently before the Colorado Legislature that would extend a number of important legal protections to same-sex couples. One bill would allow two unmarried people to file paperwork with their county clerk when estate planning at a much lower cost. "[The bill] would make it easier and cheaper to do things such as giving a designee medical proxy or listing another as an insurance or retirement beneficiary. Much of that can be accomplished now by virtue of legal contracts, but it costs $500 to $1,000 to do so." The other bill would allow same-sex partners of state employees to be eligible for health, life and dental insurance benefits. The editorial concludes by calling for an end to divisiveness over LGBT-inclusive legislation. "We know these measures are going to be controversial. Sadly, anything involving rights for gay people tends to get ugly very quickly. But it's also the right thing to do for gay Coloradans."


GLAAD encourages you to contact Denver Post editorial writers and thank them for their thoughtful argument in support of two Colorado bills designed to help same-sex couples take care of their families and each other.

The Denver Post

The Seattle Times Publishes Moving Column on Hospital Visitation

The Seattle Times highlighted the heart-wrenching story of Lacey, Wash. resident Janice Langbehn and her family in a Feb. 13 column entitled. "If her name had been Joe, her wife wouldn't have died alone." Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald artfully tells Langbehn's story, replacing her first name with "Joe" in his retelling. He takes the reader through her traumatic hospital visitation ordeal in 2007 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Langbehn and her children were barred from seeing her dying partner, Lisa Pond, until the moments before she passed away. "It strains credulity to believe Joe would have spent eight hours barred from his wife's bedside as Janice was from hers," Pitts wrote. "Politicians and alleged religious leaders have routinely invited us to hate gay people and call it morality. They have taught us to frame gay lives in cloudy abstracts of tradition and values. But this isn't abstract, is it? It would be good if someone remembered her next time we are invited to hate an abstract. And remember Janice, who could not ache more deeply even if her name was Joe." Pitts, who has written frequently on issues facing the LGBT community, was nominated for Best Columnist for the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The winner will be announced on March 28 in New York.


GLAAD urges you to write to the Seattle Times and syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. and thank them for this powerful op-ed that highlights the personal story of Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond and starkly portrays the real life and death issues affecting same-sex couples who lack the legal protections and security that come with marriage. Please also congratulate Pitts for his 2009 GLAAD Award nomination for best columnist.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

The Seattle Times


Sean Hannity Maligns Gay Kisses at the Oscars

Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity led an absurd discussion criticizing Sean Penn's acceptance speech at the Oscars after he won Best Actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Hannity allowed one of his guests, Bo Dietl, former New York City police detective and frequent guest on Don Imus' syndicated morning radio show, to spout several crass anti-gay comments. Hannity then went on to falsely assert that the gay kisses shown during the Oscar broadcast hurt children. "You know, they keep showing the scenes of men kissing. And I'm thinking do we have to expose our children to more and more sex, more and more violence?" GLAAD responded by posting an online video that highlighted Hannity's claims while recapping the fourteen straight Oscar night kisses and the three gay kisses that occurred over the course of the broadcast. The video went on to say, "Even kids know that a kiss is just a kiss. Isn't it time Sean Hannity figured that out too?"


GLAAD encourages you to contact Fox News Channel and voice your opinion about Sean Hannity's off the wall commentary vilifying gay kisses at the Oscars.


New York Post Sparks Outrage By Publishing Racist Cartoon; GLAAD Joins Chorus of Voices Denouncing the Paper's History of Offensive Coverage

On Feb. 18, the New York Post ran a racist Sean Delonas cartoon depicting police having shot and killed a chimpanzee while making an implied reference to President Obama, saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The cartoon sparked widespread anger and outrage, and community leaders coordinated ongoing protests of the New York Post. GLAAD joined the outcry against the Post and its parent company News Corporation, compiling two slideshows of past anti-gay Delonas cartoons and defamatory LGBT news coverage and calling on our members to contact the paper and NewsCorp. After a week of pressure from numerous community leaders and national advocacy organizations, NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a carefully crafted personal apology over the racist cartoon, "to any reader that felt offended, and even insulted," acknowledging the mistake and vowing to "be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community ."



GLAAD urges you to continue to call on Rupert Murdoch to take real and appropriate measures to end the ongoing defamation at the New York Post.

News Corporation

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, News Corporation

Teri Everett, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications

Jack Horner, Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications

Two Utah Newspapers Publish Defamatory Anti-Gay Ad

On Sunday, Feb. 15, a group calling itself "America Forever" took out full-page advertisements in two Utah papers, The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News. The ad, titled "Stand Up & Stop the Homosexual Movement," makes a series of grossly anti-gay and defamatory assertions, comparing gay people to "hookers and druggies" and referring to gay relationships as "anti-species behavior." The ad goes on to say, "For example: by holding hands and kissing in the public area of: an apartment complex playground, in a family neighborhood, at a party, or to present one's self as a homosexual person in the workplace, is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy, and if backed by law, will force the acceptance of homosexuality as a relationship equal to a man and woman relationship." GLAAD issued a Call to Action urging our members to speak out about this ad's misleading, outrageous claims that create a hostile climate for gay and lesbian people and make them feel less safe and secure in their communities.


GLAAD strongly encourages you to write a letter to the editor to The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News and join the chorus that has already spoken out about this advertisement. Share your personal story and help illustrate why the defamatory claims made in the ad put members of our community in harms' way.

Salt Lake Tribune
To contact The Salt Lake Tribune, send your letter in the body of the email, not as an attachment to:

The Deseret News

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