With Minnesota voters set to decide on a constitutional ban on marriage equality in November, and the issue promising to be front-page news until then, GLAAD today published Commentator Accountability Project profiles for Tom Prichard, John Helmberger, Bradlee Dean, Chuck Darrell and Barb Anderson. The purpose for the profiles is to provide critical context to media covering the issue of marriage (especially with the State Fair currently underway) before a proposed ban is put to voters in November.
- Anderson, who was featured in a lengthy Rolling Stone article about the rash of LGBT suicides that have plagued her local community, says Gay Straight Alliances "affirm sexual disorders."
- Darrell opposes LGBT-inclusive sex education because he says being gay is “a killer."
- Helmberger has told Minnesota voters that they must vote to constitutionally ban marriage equality in order to "restrain evil.”
- Dean once claimed that gay people “On average, molest 117 people before they’re found out*” and says that gay people “are subverted and condemned by their own hand. Why? Because they’ve set themselves against the right-Giver.” (*Dean has removed this link from YouTube.)
- Prichard says being gay “is more dangerous than alcoholism" and that gay youth are more likely to attempt suicide because they "live in conflict with how we are made."
“At a time when some anti-gay activists, who make careers out of hurting LGBT families, are claiming that our community wants to silent them, this project aims to highlight their previous remarks about our community,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Media should share the facts about what banning marriage would mean for same-sex couples and their families in Minnesota. It’s important that Minnesotans know that these activists are not experts on marriage, or advocates for religious liberty, but mouthpieces for anti-gay animus.”
The GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project was first launched in March of 2012 with over 30 profiles of extreme anti-LGBT commentators. ”Accountability” does not necessarily mean keeping anti-gay people out of the media. But if a reporter is quoting someone who believes their position on an issue is necessary in order to “restrain evil,” or that their opponents are "condemned by their own hand" it's the reporter’s journalistic responsibility to put that person’s opinion in perspective.