I recently wrote about Media Matters for America (MMA) and its new focus on LGBT issues. It was exciting today to read in the New York Times the piece on the founding of a “communications war room for gay equality” as one way Media Matters is referring to the new entity its staff has begun.
We have gone way too long without a coherent and immediate response to the often false and derogatory messages about the gay community, and what they call our agenda, from the likes of Fox news, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. This war room, which will be called Equality Matters, will be run by Richard Socarides. While he and I haven’t always agreed 100 percent on how aggressive we should or shouldn’t be toward President Obama, Richard has the knowledge, the smarts and the creativity to make this new group a success. We need everyone’s shoulder to the wheel if we are to make progress in the next few years.
It is clear that the public isn’t nearly as far along on marriage equality or passing an inclusive ENDA, or repealing DOMA, as they were on repeal of DADT. But we have come a long way in our efforts to move the needle in favor of equality. Having a group whose sole focus will be to make sure the information that gets to the public on these issues is timely, accurate and complete will help to move that needle farther and faster. Just a quick look at the website of this new organization shows the potential they will have to make a difference.
There is a momentum in the nation to move forward on equality. While we will always have to deal with bigots and those who for religious reasons have issues with marriage equality, the crucial thing will be to explain clearly and concisely, as we did in the District of Columbia, that the separation of church and state doesn’t require people to change their religious views. That civil law does require that we treat all people equally and that the LGBT community is not looking for special treatment but rather equal treatment.
I look forward to the work that Equality Matters will do and thank those like David Brock, founder and President of MMA, for the work they have done in moving this forward.