Accuracy in Media

In a concrete example of where a paper’s editorial philosophy influences news content, the Washington Post supports gay marriage on its editorial page and in its news pages. Consider the Post’s story about Charles Blackburn, a former civil rights activist who compares the fight for gay marriage to the civil rights movement and ending school segregation. Blackburn, a former ordained Unitarian minister, wants to legally marry his gay partner Glen Dehn, but a Maryland law that defines marriage as between a man and woman must be overturned to bring this about.

The Post equates Blackburn’s early work as a civil rights activist to his current struggle to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. The Post reported that Blackburn moved to Huntsville, Alabama in 1964 “with a wife and small daughter,” to “turn back centuries of injustice” toward blacks in the Deep South. But over time, Blackburn would leave both the ministry and his wife to resume “his march for civil rights.”

Blackburn, who has advertised his story on the Freedom to Marry website, along with 17 other gay and lesbian couples, filed a lawsuit in Maryland to legalize same-sex marriage, and their case will be heard in Maryland’s highest court this December.

Blackburn, who helped organize the ACLU in ten southern states, already won a victory in January 2005 when “a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the state’s definition of marriage was discriminatory and could not withstand a constitutional challenge.”

According to the Washington Post article, Blackburn does acknowledge that some people get angry when gays and lesbians compare their fight for homosexual marriage to the fight by blacks to gain social and economic equality in America. But, Blackburn counters, “We’re not saying we’ve suffered as long, or as much. But we have rights that need to be defended.”

And who are these people who have “rights that need to be defended?” The Washington Post attempts to make it seem like there are many gay couples who are denied the right to marry. The Post article uses a statistic from the Baltimore-based Advocates for Children and Youth that shows there are more than 15,000 same-sex couples in Maryland, and between a quarter and a third of them are raising children. But, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the July 1, 2005 estimate showed Maryland had an estimated population of 5,600,388; gay couples make up a mere .5% of the population of Maryland. Blackburn and the other 17 “couples” are trying to change a Maryland law for 30,000 people that will affect the other 5.6 million.

Pro-gay marriage laws have been proposed in the Maryland legislature in the past and have failed. A 2001 law to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was vetoed by then Gov. Ehrlich. Having been unsuccessful to get a pro-gay marriage law passed in the legislature, David Rocah, an ACLU lawyer for the plaintiffs says, “You resort to the courts.” How’s that for ignoring the will of the people?

Maryland Delegate Donald Dwyer, Jr. (R) is planning to resubmit a constitutional amendment to voters that would ban same-sex marriage. Dwyer told the Post, “If the state of Maryland legalizes same-sex marriage, there will be nothing to prevent it from being taught in the public schools as a normal sexual lifestyle.”

And therein lies the real crux of the issue, a matter that gets short shrift from the liberal media. The Civil Rights Movement was not about sex, nor was it about a lifestyle decision. Black people were forced to attend separate schools, use separate restrooms and water fountains, were prevented from voting, and were being lynched, killed and tortured, for simply being black. Blacks in the South had no choice; they were black and they were having their rights and their lives taken from them for being something they had no control and choice over.

The media, led by the Post, gay rights groups, and the ACLU are deliberately trying to confuse people into thinking that the movement for gay marriage is similar to the Civil Rights Movement. A person can choose whether or not to get married or to have sex, but you can’t choose your skin color or ethnic heritage.

Martin Luther King, Jr. did not want people “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” One’s character involves the choices people make.

By any objective measure, what Blackburn was fighting for then and what he is fighting for now are completely different. Shame on the Washington Post, and the ACLU, for comparing black people seeking basic rights to homosexuals using the courts to force the majority of people into accepting a lifestyle choice that most people find morally objectionable.

What is important to the Washington Post is that the Civil Rights Movement be exploited in order to get Blackburn the “right” to marry another homosexual man.

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