November 10, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 45
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Media urged to examine LGBT perspectives on 2006 vote
Media urged to examine LGBT perspectives on 2006 vote
NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2006 -- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today called on the nation's media to examine how growing cultural acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and families helped to shape -- and will be impacted by -- the 2006 election.

"GLAAD urges the nation's media to examine the significant differences between the 2004 and the 2006 elections," said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. "Two items that standout are first, that anti-Gay prejudice is losing its power as a political tool, and second, that those who exploit it are losing their influence. We hope media will fully investigate these issues as they are worthy of examination."

In addition to the expected defeat of Arizona's anti-Gay marriage amendment, the LGBT community and civil rights movement today celebrated the diminishing traction of anti-Gay ballot initiatives. In 2004, the vast majority of such anti-Gay laws passed with more than 70% of the vote. In 2006, more than half of those that passed garnered support of percentages in the 50's.

GLAAD is encouraging media to report on the success of LGBT candidates across America. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund reported today that 67 of its endorsed LGBT candidates - a record - were elected to federal, state and local office, including the first openly Gay people ever elected to public office in Alabama, Arkansas and Indiana. And the defeats of extreme anti-Gay officials like Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, and Rep. John Hostettler in Indiana point to voter rejection of strategies targeting Gay and Lesbian families for political gain.

GLAAD also urged reporters to examine the diminishing returns of anti-Gay ballot initiatives in the context of recent public opinion polls on relationship recognition for Lesbian and Gay families. An Oct 27-31, 2006 New York Times/CBS News poll1 found that 55% of respondents favored either full marriage equality or civil unions for Gay couples. And a Nov. 5-6, 2006 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll2 found that 60% favored legal recognition for same-sex couples - 30% favoring marriage and 30% favoring "a legal partnership similar to but not called marriage." Only 32% of likely voters believed that same-sex couples should have no legal recognition.

Giuliano argues that public support for legal recognition and protection of same-sex couples and their families is the direct result of the public dialogue about marriage. "Because of the discussion about marriage, more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people are living openly and honestly. They're talking to people about their lives and sharing their stories in the media. And as a result they are helping to strengthen the kind of understanding that leads to acceptance and respect."

GLAAD's National News, Media Field Strategy and People of Color Media Strategy teams are helping to connect media professionals with LGBT civil rights organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Log Cabin Republicans, National Black Justice Coalition, Stonewall Democrats, and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), among others, to help them capture a complete picture of the 2006 elections' impact on the LGBT community. For additional information, contact GLAAD National News Director Cindi Creager at or (646) 871-8019.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

A GLAAD press release

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