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Can the U.S. Mainstream Media Meet Gay America’s Challenge?

Can the U.S. Mainstream Media Meet Gay America's Challenge?

This is a day that millions of Americans — regardless of their sexual persuasions — will likely not forget for a long time and will hail on future June 26’s as a happy milestone.

The Washington Post observed on Wednesday: “The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law signed by President Clinton that defined marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of federal law.

“The decision was 5-4, with the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy — who also wrote the court’s historic gay rights decisions in Romer v. Evansand Lawrence v. Texas. Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts all filed dissents. Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia’s dissent, and joined Alito’s in part, while Roberts joined Scalia’s in part. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Kennedy’s majority opinion.” Read the Post’s account:…

Only a few weeks ago, remember, Jason Collins, a veteran NBA player, came out publicly on the cover of Sports Illustrated, effectively violating the sanctity of the jocks’ locker room and challenging pro sports to join the 21st century. And that’s just what happened, as his fellow players and members of the NBA community supported Collins’ decision in a resounding show of solidarity.

All over the world, there are signs that the gay community is flexing its collective muscles in politics, consumerism, commerce, culture, society and every other other way.

Can the U.S. mainstream media also join the 21st century and cover the big story in a comprehensive, fair-minded way without appearing to be patronizing or faddish?

This challenge is never easy for journalists, you know. We take ourselves Very Seriously, especially when we deign to write about historic subjects. This is often when we run into trouble.

We have had this test before, when it comes to race and immigration stories, to name two thorny issues. 

We haven’t always put our best foot forward as an industry, either, sometimes because we have a lack of intelligence and other times because we try too hard to be big brothers and we wind up blowing it by looking like out of touch blowhards.

Hopefully, my profession will get the story right this time by doing what we should always be doing: Covering the news, as the saying goes, without fear or favor. 

Don’t worry too much about making history. 

Just get the story right this time.

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