Joyce L. Arnold: Liberal, lesbian, Independent, equality activist, writer.
Two different ways to measure LGBT equality success came out this week: the “Momentum Report,” by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), and The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLADD) “Network Responsibility Index.” That’s “network” as in television.
Before turning to those reports, something from Bayard Rustin’s Time on Two Crosses, in the essay, “From Montgomery To Stonewall.” For information in reports to be made real, we need words from people who fight the fight. Rustin was one of those people. Via Autumn Sandeen, at Pam’s Houseblend:
[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists … . Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America … such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.
The two reports help provide information about how well the task Rustin presents is being carried out.
In reference to the “Momentum Report,” by MAP, from Keen News Service:
The LGBT movement is making progress, but it’s being seriously outspent by opponents and still has ‘a long way’ to go to reach equality. That’s the conclusion of an in-depth analysis by an independent think tank devoted to studying how best to marshal the LGBT movement’s resources to speed advancement of equality … .
The 2011 report
… notes that amid an accelerating rate of progress, LGBT people are facing an increasingly two-tiered existence, depending almost entirely on where they live. Committed gay and lesbian couples still have almost no legal protections in 30 states; hard-working (LGB) employees can still be unfairly fired in 29 states … while transgender employees can still be unfairly fired in 35 states; 32 states lack safe schools laws …; and 35 states lack similar laws based on gender identity. In addition, the federal government’s refusal to recognize gay and lesbian couples means that even couples who legally marry in their state are denied fundamental protections … .
Regarding their “Network Responsibility Index,” GLADD:
released its fifth annual … report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on television. Primetime programming on the five broadcast networks was evaluated as well as original primetime programming on 10 major cable networks. …
The CW remains the top broadcast network with 33% of its primetime programming hours being LGBT-inclusive. Fox came in second at 29%, and both networks received a ‘Good’ rating this year.
ABC remained in third place in terms of its percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming hours (23%). ABC received a ‘Good’ rating because of the strong quality of its LGBT images, and the network broadcast the greatest total number of LGBT-inclusive hours (253).
CBS remained in last place with 10% LGBT-inclusive hours of primetime programming. After receiving their second ‘Failing’ score in a row last year … they improved enough to receive an ‘Adequate’ score this year. …
In addition to ABC Family’s [55%] ‘Excellent’ rating, Showtime (37%), TNT (33%), HBO (31%), Lifetime (31%), AMC (29%), and Syfy (22%) all received ‘Good’ ratings for the quantity and quality of their LGBT-inclusive original programming.
USA increased their LGBT-inclusive hours from 4% to 18%, which improved their score from ‘Failing’ to ‘Adequate.’
For the fourth year in a row, A&E (5%) and TBS (5%) both received ‘Failing’ ratings for their lack of LGBT-inclusive images.
One area in which all networks continue to struggle is the underrepresentation or misrepresentation of the transgender community.
Another measure of success comes by way of the American Psychological Association’s endorsement of marriage equality. Via AmericaBlogGay: “The policymaking body of the American Psychological Association unanimously approved the resolution 157-0 on the eve of the group’s annual convention … .”
Also about marriage equality, and first via Bilerico, The State, a South Carolina newspaper which in 1996 editorialized in support of a state constitutional amendment to ban “same-sex marriage,” this week printed the wedding announcement of William Hasty III and Gregory S. Smith, now living in New York. The State is their hometown newspaper. Second, from Box Turtle: “the Suquamish Tribal Council formally changed its ordinances to join Oregon’s Coquille in extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.”
Less happy, you can read about “Hateful Homophobic Statements From Boehner/GOP DOMA Briefs” at Bilerico.
Turning from marriage, but staying with the GOP, via AmericaBlog, news that the second GOP House member has joined the LGBT Equality Caucus (96 total members). Rep. Richard Hanna (NY) joins Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL).
(the) Fred Karger for President campaign tells us the openly gay GOP Presidential aspirant is tied with Newt Gingrich in a newly released Zogby national poll.
The question the campaign presents is, will Fred be heard at the Iowa Presidential debates …?
In the “more work to be done” category, from Wayne Besen, in The Advocate, a call for an apology from NPR which
… aired a segment this week that inexplicably claimed, ‘The debate about the value of conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, has been raging in psychological circles for more than a decade.’
In reality, the debate began to ebb in 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. In 2009 the American Psychological Association conducted an exhaustive study on the efficacy of ‘ex-gay’ therapy. The press release said it all: ‘No evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work, says APA,’… .
NPR did respond to the apparently significant amount of criticism they received regarding the story. The Advocate summarized their take on the response: “NPR Admits Some Mistakes, Stops Short of Apology.”
Finally, I opened with the powerful words of Bayard Rustin. I want to close with a powerful story. From The Advocate
The last known gay concentration camp survivor imprisoned because of his sexual orientation has died, according to Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association.
Rudolf Brazda, who was held at the Buchenwald concentration camp for three years until U.S. forces liberated the camp in 1945, died Wednesday at the age of 98 … .
In a 2008 interview with the French gay magazine Têtu, Brazda spoke for the first time of his imprisonment since he made remarks at the dedication ceremony of a Berlin memorial to gay victims of the Third Reich. ‘The way Nazis treated the ‘pink triangles’ is unspeakable,’ Brazda said … .
After he was freed from Buchenwald, Brazda moved to France, where he lived for 35 years with his partner, who died in 2002.
Context and history: we can’t measure success without them.