GLAAD Returns to Neutral Stance on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger
July 13, 2011, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to withdraw its support for the pending AT&T merger with T-Mobile and to return the organization to a neutral position with respect to the deal. GLAAD also submitted to the FCC, in the same letter, a statement strongly supporting the tenets of net neutrality. Today's letter was filed by Mike Thompson, GLAAD's Acting President following extensive discussion among GLAAD leadership and supporters.
"A rigorous review process considered GLAAD's unique mission and concluded that while AT&T has a strong record of support for the LGBT community, the explanation used to support this particular merger was not sufficiently consistent with GLAAD's work to advocate for positive and culture-changing LGBT stories and images in the media," said Thompson.
In affirming GLAAD's support for the principle of net neutrality, Thompson wrote in the FCC letter: "GLAAD is a strong supporter of the general principle of net neutrality. Although this letter is not specific to any proposed or existing regulatory or legislative standards, we acknowledge that net neutrality is one of the principles most responsible for the Internet's emergence as the dominant platform for free expression. A nondiscriminatory and neutral Internet has allowed new digital media initiatives and the blogosphere itself to flourish online. Net neutrality has cultivated the plethora of online resources available to otherwise isolated LGBT Americans seeking help with coming out, coping with and countering discrimination, suicide and HIV/AIDS prevention resources, community building and political organizing tools, and general self-expression. GLAAD's own work has been effective thanks in large part to net neutrality."
Thompson and GLAAD's Board of Directors pledged commitment to GLAAD's mission as they form an Executive Search Committee to identify a new President.
"In just the past few weeks, GLAAD's Media Programs team has continued to move Americans through sharing powerful stories- from African American pastors who support marriage equality in the New York Daily News to prompting professional baseball teams to take a stand against anti-gay and transgender attitudes to demanding action from Jose Luis sin Censura, the most anti-gay show on Spanish-language television," Thompson said. "It is GLAAD's work on the ground with local organizations and behind-the-scenes with national and local media that will continue to grow support for our community's equality."