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05/08/2014

Is being aggressively anti-gay really criteria for meeting with FCC chair?

by Jeremy Hooper

The American Family Association, Family Research Council, Concerned Women For America, and Focus on the Family are four of the most anti-LGBT organizations in the nation. And when it comes to televised entertainment, it take nothing more than accurate representation of certain kinds of people to set them into a tailspin. Here is but one quickly Googled example from each organization:

  • Concerned Women For America's Penny Nance lashed out at Fox for simply airing a television commercial for the "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign: “Apparently, American Idol, with the help of Woody from Disney’s Toy Story, thinks that my 4th grader needs to be fully aware of the plight of teens who view themselves as ‘gay…Fox blew it last night...They lured us into a false sense of security and broke trust with us last night.”
  • Family Research Council's Tony Perkins: "Television shows are full of lovable gay characters, whose dangerous lifestyle is just another funny footnote. Unfortunately for America, those make-believe people are having a real-life impact. In a new survey, almost 20% of Americans credit television with changing their minds on same-sex marriage. And that’s no accident. Homosexuals make up 4% of the population, but they’re a whopping 30% of TV characters and story lines. Liberals are using this barrage to desensitize America and viewers are buying it. Of course, producers don’t show you the reality of homosexuality: the men and women dying of AIDS, or the same-sex couples threatening Christian businesses. They don’t cast the Dan Savages bullying kids or the parents kicked out of school for opposing gay curriculum. Like most everything else on TV, it’s fiction."
  • Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton suggests that TV shows somehow hide the ugly truth of what a same-sex wedding looks like: "When actual gay and lesbian weddings are shown on TV (as in news coverage), we win. When they're shown through the lens and creativity and artifice of Hollywood, we don't. Hollywood is succeeding, but they're doing so by not representing reality"

And so on.

Then there's the American Family Association. Where to even begin with that one? Through its One Million Moms arm, the AFA boycotts any show that even includes an LGBT character (see any of these links). And then there are the AFA radio hosts (which include the aforementioned Tony Perkins), who fill broadcast time with similar denunciations. Again, those instances are too plentiful to count; here's the gist, from the AFA's issues analyst and most prominent host, Bryan Fischer:

It's clear to anyone who tracks these groups that all of them find LGBT people—our faces, our stories, our anti-bullying campaigns, our marriages, and our mere representation—to be indecent. To their limited credit, they don't really even try to hide that fact.

Okay, so here's why I tell you what you likely already knew about these orgs and their self-appointed roles as condemnatory couch potatoes: I just learned, via the American Family Association's own One News Now channel, that these groups and others (like the also anti-gay Morality in Media) recently secured a meeting with the chairman of the Federal Communications Committee. Details at link:

Fcc Wheeler Meeting2 349X169
AFA joins other pro-family groups in sit-down with FCC chair [ONN]

Is this okay with you? Because I think it's really shitty.

Not only are these organizations actively resistant, but all of the four lead with their LGBT rights activism. It would be fair to say that all of them (FRC and AFA in particular) dedicate an inordinate amount of time to us. That being the case, we must always look at these organizations for the anti-LGBT groups that they are, even at times when they might be addressing more limited subjects. All of these organizations work, for paychecks and political access, to make life more difficult for us. This extends to our nighttime viewing habits, which they think should be as exclusionary as they'd like to make public policy.

And yet the FCC chairman is all like, "Sure, let's meet!"? Really? Because that's not an every day thing, meeting with the FCC chair. You have to have some sort of valid reason. You have to have demonstrated some sort of merit. Your reactions to what appears on TV should like extend beyond your simple distaste for certain kinds of lives and loves.

Like with many of these kinds of things, you have to use the substation test and ask if he'd be so welcoming to organizations that so actively and loudly opposed the simple broadcast inclusion of any other minority group. In that obvious answer one will find the obvious reason why this meeting is so problematic.

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