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GLAAD adds North Carolina marriage foes to Commentator Accountability Project

NC anti-gay activists compare gay people to 'murderers,' pedophiles, bestiality in anti-gay amendment push

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

May 3, 2012

Read our blog post at http://www.glaad.org/blog/north-carolina-anti-lgbt-activists-profiled-glaadcap

New York, NY, May 3, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced the addition of anti-gay activists Ron Baity, Patrick Wooden, Mark Creech and Tami Fitzgerald to its Commentator Accountability Project (CAP).  The project aims to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of many of those who are often interviewed or quoted in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.

North Carolinians will vote on Amendment One on Tuesday, May 8. The proposed constitutional amendment, which would change the state’s constitution to only recognize married straight couples, bans civil unions and eliminates health care, prescription drug coverage and other benefits for public employees and children receiving domestic partner benefits.

Several anti-LGBT voices in North Carolina have spoken out in support of the Amendment including those added to CAP today.

Ron Baity’s profile can be viewed here: http://www.glaad.org/cap/ron-baity
Patrick Wooden’s profile can be viewed here: http://www.glaad.org/cap/patrick-wooden
Mark Creech’s profile can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/cap/mark-creech
Tami Fitzgerald’s profile can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/cap/tami-fitzgerald

Baity, Wooden, Creech and Fitzgerald are among the most vitriolic of anti-gay activists in North Carolina, working to spread misinformation and fuel hostility toward gay people as voters there decide on Amendment One.

“Hate is not an expert opinion,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “In most cases, news outlets invite reputable experts to speak on the subject at hand, but when talking about LGBT issues, open hostility and anti-LGBT bias seems to be all the credibility required. North Carolina press have a responsibility to highlight the impact Amendment One has on gay and straight residents, not in serving as a platform for blatant and violent homophobia.”

Among the hateful rhetoric espoused by the group are statements that compare gay people to murderers, pedophiles and bestiality. Full statements and video of these and other comments is available at http://www.glaad.org/cap

LGBT advocate and writer Pam Spaulding who resides in Durham, North Carolina spoke out: "Vote for Marriage NC and its surrogates have declared war on gay and lesbian couples, so blinded by their homophobia that they don't mind damaging the lives unmarried heterosexual couples, children whose health insurance will be gone if domestic partnerships on the books in several municipalities here in NC are eliminated by Amendment One. What's particularly egregious is that Vote for Marriage NC's Tami Fitzgerald and partner in bigotry, Rev. Patrick Wooden, continue to lie about these collateral harms, even saying that civil unions are not banned if Amendment One passes. It's gratifying to see that GLAAD CAP is focusing its attention on commentators here who have not received the scrutiny and fact-checking that they deserve when they are quoted in the media about civil rights of LGBT North Carolinians."

GLAAD will be releasing additions to CAP in coming months that include anti-LGBT voices working against equality in other states.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #glaadcap