CNN: Signorile, Shister, Deggans and Kurtz Discuss Anderson Cooper’s Coming Out
Anderson Cooper Officially Comes Out
Via email to Andrew Sullivan:
Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.
But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.
I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media - and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.
Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.
I love, and I am loved.
In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.
CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Slams Pastor Curtis Knapp, Clarifies Message On Twitter
On Thursday morning, Early Start co-anchor Ashleigh Banfield felt compelled to weigh in on a story involving New Hope Baptist Church’s Pastor Curtis Knapp, who made headlines for saying that gay individuals should be put to death.
After showing a clip of Knapp sharing his point of view and reading a select passage from Leviticus, Banfield appeared upset over the pastor’s comparison of homosexuality with things like pedophilia and incest… but perhaps not for the reasons most often espoused:
- Pedophilia is not by choice, last I checked. In his sermon, Pastor Knapp blamed the Bush administration for its tolerance of gay people. Says that he claims that set the stage, in fact, for the Obama administration to endorse same-sex marriage.
- Like I said: they can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable. Speechless, right? […]
- Again, we gotta outline here, when he says “they punish incest and pedophilia”… Please. Those things are often not by choice and are crimes. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people; it is voluntary.
Need 2 clarify. Incest and pedophelia are CRIMES & victims have no choice. Being gay is not. Relatnshps r by choice. Way of life not crime.— Ashleigh Banfield (@CNNAshleigh) junio 1, 2012
Being gay is not a choice. Being in consensual relationship is. I support LGBT people. I do not support pastor who says its a crime.— Ashleigh Banfield (@CNNAshleigh) junio 1, 2012
GLAAD Cheers CNN Host Brooke Baldwin’s Handling Of “Moron Of The Week” Inductee Tony Perkins
Via GLAAD website:
- Baldwin asked Perkins if he had ever been to the home of a married same-sex couple. He had not.
- She asked how he would explain to a married gay couple that they should not have the protections of marriage. He did not answer.
- Baldwin asked Perkins why gay people bother him so much. He said they don’t … but he did so very uncomfortably, and it was evident he was not telling the whole truth.
- When he implied that his was the majority position, she corrected him, citing the latest polls showing only 39% of Americans believing marriage equality should be illegal, opposed to 53% who say it should be legal.
- And when he told her it was a policy issue, she corrected him, and told him it was a human issue.
Of course, the interview wasn’t perfect – and this is one thing that we’d like to see every journalist get right.Perkins, as he always does, gave his line about “social science” showing “kids do best with a mother and a father.” This is absolute garbage. The studies he is citing compared kids raised by a mother and a father to kids from single parent homes. Every single mainstream study that has ever been conducted, comparing kids raised by two gay parents to kids raised by two straight parents, has found absolutely no difference. Here is what a few of the nation’s leading health and child welfare organizations have to say: (feel free to skip ahead, unless you’re a journalist.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics says: “[S]cientific literature demonstrates” that same-sex couple children “fare as well.”
The American Psychiatric Association says: “Research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents.”
The American Psychological Association says: “There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
The American Psychoanalytic Association says: “Gay and lesbian individuals and couples are capable of meeting the best interest of the child.”
The Child Welfare League of America says: “Any attempt to preclude or prevent gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting, based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best interest of children.”
And here are just a few of the studies that back that up:
“Gay & Lesbian Parenting” (PDF - a review of the research literature by the American Psychological Association.)
“Meta-Analysis of Developmental Outcomes for Children of Same-Sex and Heterosexual Parents” (2008 metastudy from Michigan State University)
“Pychosocial Adjustment Among Children Conceived Via Donor Insemination by Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers”(1998 research from the University of Virgina)
“Children’s Gender Identity in Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families” (2009 research from the University of Amsterdam and New York State Psychiatric Institute)
“Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School” (2010 research by Stanford University)
“Parent-Child Interaction Styles Between Gay and Lesbian Parents and Their Adopted Children” (2007 study from Florida State University)
“U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents” (2010 study from the University of California-San Francisco, the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Amsterdam)
We need for journalists like Baldwin to be aware of this, so viewers will know that anti-gay activists like Perkins aren’t telling the whole truth.But aside from this, Baldwin did the best job we’ve seen from anyone at CNN since the Obama announcement of showing her audience exactly who Tony Perkins is, exactly who he speaks for, and most importantly, that he doesn’t speak for them.
“Moron Of The Week” Inductee Tony Perkins: I Don’t Have Any Gay Kids Because I Taught Them Correctly, Pray For Dan Savage
UPDATE: Dan responds:
Oh, Tony. If quoting their own scriptures to Christians amounts to “persecuting Christians,” then every Baptist minister in the country is guilty of persecuting Christians. And Saul of Tarsus? That would be Paul, of course, author of huge chunks of the New Testament and the creep responsible for its most misogynistic and homophobic bits. (Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality, and Jesus never asked his mother or Mary Magdalene to “keep silent.”) [snip] And let’s not forget what “I’ll pray for you” means someone like Perkins says it: Every one knows, “I’ll pray for you,” is how Baptists say, “Fuck you.” Fuck you too, Tony.
Piers Tonight: Kevin Smith Defends Asks Politicians To Stay Out Of His Gay Brother’s Bedroom
And nice blast on Santorum’s position on Porn at the end of the clip, by the way.
“Moron Of The Week” Inductee & GOP Presidential Nominee Loser Michele Bachmann Says Piers Morgan Was “Rude” For Pointing Out Her Bigotry
“I want to thank Piers Morgan for his response to what he wud say to HIS child if (s)he came out: “Great, as long as you’re happy.”
Talking about Piers’ response to Kirk Cameron’s hateful views on Homosexuality on CNN last week.
“Kirk or Kurt or whatever Cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech. so is Rick Warren. Their peers r killing gays in Uganda.”
Talking about Kirk Cameron’s hateful views on Homosexuality.
Piers Tonight: Kirk Cameron Says Homosexuality Is “Unnatural, Detrimental, Destructive”
Obviously, GLAAD is pissed (as I am), and they’re trying to get everybody to tell Cameron to grow the fuck up, already.