Friday, November 26, 2010

Dan Savage tells CNN to stop giving haters equal time, calls for "a cultural reckoning" on gay rights. (video)

Columnist/LGBT Rights Activist/It Gets Better founder Dan Savage appeared on CNN Tuesday morning with Kyra Phillips to discuss a recent report that gays and lesbians are the most frequent targets of hates crimes. The pair discussed the study results released by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which compiled 14 years worth of FBI hate crimes statistics

The report shows that gays and lesbians are more likely than any other minority to be the target of a hate crime, 2 times more than African-Americans, 4 times more than Muslins and 14 times more than Latinos.

Phillips said, "You know, it's difficult to say what would be a solution [to anti-gay hate crimes]. But, could we start with more hate crimes legislation where bullies are prosecuted more severely?"

Savage responded, saying,  
"We can start with that, we can also start with… really, we need a cultural reckoning around gay and lesbian issues. There was once two sides to the race debate. There was once a side, you could go on television and argue for segregation, you could argue against interracial marriage, against the Civil Rights Act, against extending voting rights to African Americans and that used to be treated as one side, you know, one legitimate side of a pressing national debate and it isn't anymore. And we really need to reach that point with gay and lesbian issues. There are no ‘two sides’ to the issues about gay and lesbian rights."

"And right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on networks like CNN and then that really -- we really have to start there. We have to start with that type of cultural reckoning."
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