Friday, February 1, 2013

Boy Scouts : where are the voices of faith?

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Voices of Faith
From GLAAD, asking why the media isn't highlighting voices of faith who support the Boy Scouts potential change of policy to allow gays:
[M]edia coverage of the policy change has fallen into a familiar trap. Two of the most common voices appearing in opposition to the policy change have reinforced the false notion that religious people are opposed to removing the ban on gay scouts. Tony Perkins is one of the most common and egregious anti-gay voices. GLAAD has included him in our Commentator Accountability Project for the outlandish statements he has made against LGBT people. Another voice that has been appearing frequently is Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mohler has also made extreme anti-gay statements, and has also earned a spot on the Commentator Accountability Project. Mohler represents a large, mainstream Christian denomination in the United States. His words carry special weight, and can easily imply that Baptists all agree with him. He uses specific, religious language to help shape his message.
When these are the only religious voices that appear in the media conversation, one would be led to the conclusion that there is no religious support for changing the ban on gay scouts, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of religious groups have been advocating for a Boy Scout policy change, some for years. 
Unfortunately, pro-LGBT religious voices are not making it into the mainstream discussion. Instead, religious language is being offered exclusively to those who would oppose LGBT equality. Last spring, GLAAD issued “Missing Voices”, which demonstrated the lack of visibility for pro-LGBT religious people and organizations. The report found that 3 out of 4 religious voices speaking on LGBT equality came from denominations that have formal policy or culture opposed to LGBT people. 
This story has fallen into that same pattern. It’s time for the media to seek out sponsoring congregations, religious leaders, and entire denominations that have been encouraging the exact change that is being considered by the Boy Scouts. .... 
GLAAD calls on the media to include the multitude of faith voices that have been advocating for dropping the ban on gay scouts. Leaders within the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Metropolitan Community Church, and others listed here are ready and willing to speak out. By doing so, the media can more fairly and accurately represent the fact that only the fringe of faith people are holding onto an antiquated anti-gay policy that keeps qualified leaders from the scouts, and punishes scouts for being gay.

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