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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Equality isn't controversial

Over the past week, GetEQUAL organizers have been busy!
We confronted Maggie Gallagher, founder of the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage, to present her with the "First Annual Anita Bryant Award for Unbridled and Unparalleled Bigotry." (If you haven't seen the video, you should join the 12k+ folks who have watched it:
We also organized Tax Day actions across the country at post offices and other locations to draw attention to the 1,138 rights that LGBT Americans are denied while paying the same amount in taxes each year as heterosexual Americans.
And, complementing the momentum we're seeing on the ground for marriage equality, we also saw a CNN poll that -- yet again -- indicated marriage equality is still rising in public opinion…meaning that groups like the National Organization for Marriage and others are on their way to extinction.
However, when we looked at the CNN poll, we saw something weird -- Americans under the age of 35 weren't polled. That's right -- in a national poll of likely 2012 voters, not one person under the age of 35 -- the most progressive and LGBT-friendly generation in history -- was included in the poll results!
What does that mean? It means that the 51% of Americans who favor marriage equality are actually -- if CNN had bothered to ask enough young people for a representative sample -- more like 54% or 55%. Why didn't CNN ask people under 35 what they thought? Who knows -- but we're tired of seeing media outlets continue to peddle a narrative that says that LGBT equality is a "controversial" issue.
We're heading into an election season that will undoubtedly use LGBT Americans as a convenient "hot button issue" rather than respecting us as people who deserve more than headlines and poll numbers. It's time to start pushing back on outlets like CNN who continue to foster the notion that equality is a divisive, controversial issue.
To get ahead of this before the 2012 election begins dominating the news 24/7, we're partnering with Our Time to make sure that CNN doesn't undermine our community by making equality a more divisive issue than it actually is. Our goal is to collect 5,000 signatures demanding that CNN include the 60 million Americans under 35 in their polling. Once we've made our goal, Our Time will send 17 cell phones to CNN -- one to call the 18-year-olds they ignored, one for the 19-year-olds they ignored, etc. Snarky, right??
Help us make sure that millennials -- the most progressive generation ever -- aren't cut out of the political narrative. And help us make sure that media outlets like CNN don't get away with under-representing the vast majority of Americans who support equality. We deserve better than that!
Thank you!
Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!
Robin McGehee, Director
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