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02/04/2009

USA (network) fully includes gays. USA (country) hopefully will someday.

by Jeremy Hooper

This USA network is currently running this inspiring public service campaign:

And continuing the call for LGBT equality, the "Characters Unite" campaign includes the following among its 50 recommendations for things people can do to make a diff:

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So it's pretty cool, right? We have a major national cable outlet encouraging folks to take a stand for peace, and they have unapologetically included the LGBT rainbow within that mix. A no-brainer, since LGBT people are among the groups who still have to struggle so fully against foolishness.

Well, leave it to those who try so desperately to paint LGBT acceptance as if it's a social time bomb waiting to explode to lash out against the USA network's attempts at peace. In a tame-but-unfriendly piece, the Baptist Press has fired the first shot in what we expect to be a "pro-family" trend:

The campaign's reference to "gay marriage" comes in the wake of California's passage of Proposition 8, which overturned a state high court ruling and defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. USA Network isn't the first major media outlet to stir controversy on the issue. In December Newsweek magazine featured a one-sided cover story focusing on what it called "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage."
USA Network ad backs 'gay marriage' [BP]

But what's most interesting about the Baptist Press piece is that it is, like we said, quite tame. More so than their gay marriage-centric pieces ever are, which to us shows how much power inclusive campaigns like this one can hold. Because unlike a PSA that's only about gay people, this one includes most every type of prejudice and bias that we as a society have collectively pinpointed as being a demonstrable problem. So whereas in a GLAAD ad or a gay marriage PSA, Baptist Press would feel free to lash and bash (since gay bias is still a far-too-accepted bias), in this sort of campaign they have to verrrrrry careful about their wording. They have to isolate only the LGBT biases, and work to explain why this one particular phobia is one that society has inaccurately pinpointed as a problem. That's a difficult fete!!

Here at G-A-Y, we have never written for an LGBT audience, but rather for a larger HUMAN one. Because like most every other phobia and -ism, that's exactly what LGBT rights issues are: human rights issues. Speaking to a crowd beyonf our own choir is what we all need to be doing in order to build real and lasting bridges. We see that when our matters are placed in the "other" category, our organized opposition will place their antipathy in a detached realm where their hostility gets a weird pass. However, when our rights are placed right next to their prejudicial cousins, the dots are much easier to connect and the discrimination is much more difficult to justify!

So yea -- nice work, USA! We've know than we love you since our first trip on the Cartoon Express:

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Your thoughts

Wow. I don't go out of my way to read the voluminous mound of propaganda that the anti-gay factions manufacture for the consumption of the hordes, but if this is any indication of a new trend, then it seems that trepidation might be setting the tone. And, you may be correct in concluding that it is mostly due to the fact that we are just one 'also mentioned' in a much larger whole, but maybe it is more than that.

Maybe, after the loud and spontaneous uproar over prop H8, the more mainstream of those groups are reassessing the merits of waging an all out war against our humanity. It's one thing to kick someone in the nuts who deserves it (or who is perceived as being deserving of it), but quite another to be seen as an antagonistic bully hellbent on thuggery.

But I could be wrong, and this perceived "toe dip to test the water temp" might just be someone's off-day, or a prelude to the next salvo of ever more aggressive cheap shots aimed in our direction.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 4, 2009 11:06:27 AM

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