ABC Leads Broadcast Networks for Third Year in a Row; NBC and CBS Receive “Failing” Grades for Lack of Inclusion of the LGBT Community
Los Angeles, CA, July 27, 2009 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today released its third annual Network Responsibility Index, a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television. Primetime programming on the five broadcast networks was evaluated as well as original primetime programming on 10 of the highest-rated cable networks.
HBO scored the highest rating of the 15 networks evaluated with LGBT characters on shows including True Blood, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Entourage that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of the LGBT community. Of HBO’s 14 original series, 10 included LGBT content and 42 percent of the network’s total programming hours included LGBT representation.
“This year programming was not only inclusive of LGBT people, but networks like HBO are beginning to reflect the broad diversity within our community,” said Rashad Robinson, Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD. “With upcoming fall programming and new storylines there is a tremendous opportunity for networks to share the stories of all members of our community including lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as well as LGBT people of color, all groups which continue to be underrepresented across all networks.”
GLAAD reviewed a total of 4,901 hours of primetime programming for inclusion of LGBT characters or issues on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009. GLAAD also examined 1,212.5 hours of original primetime programming on 10 highly-rated cable networks. Each hour was reviewed for on-screen LGBT representations. Based on the quantity, overall quality and diversity of these representations, a rating was assigned by GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Program to each network: Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing.
Additional findings from the GLAAD Network Responsibility Index:
- HBO and Showtime received grades of Good, with HBO leading with 42 percent of programming hours featuring LGBT representations.
- ABC, with shows including Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty, again received the highest ranking of the five broadcast networks, earning a Good grade with 24 percent of their primetime programming hours including LGBT representations.
- The CW also received a grade of Good, with 20 percent of their primetime programming hours including LGBT representations.
- While Fox received an Adequate, rising from last place and a Failing grade in 2008; 11 percent of its programming hours were LGBT-inclusive, yet some of those hours included problematic content.
- Among cable networks evaluated, TNT showed the largest growth, jumping from one percent of LGBT inclusive primetime programming hours last year to 19 percent. FX posted the sharpest decline, dropping 32 percent over the previous season. Both were graded
- NBC and CBS received Failing grades, for their 8 and 5 percent, respectively, of programming hours with LGBT images. CBS moved down from third place in last year’s GLAAD Network Responsibility Index to last among the five major broadcast networks.
- A&E, Sci Fi and TBS received grades of Failing.
“Television shows that weave our stories into the fabric of the series present richer, more accurate representations and are the kinds of images that help Americans understand and embrace their LGBT family members, friends and neighbors in a more meaningful way,” said Robinson.
The third annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index was delivered to programming executives at the 15 graded networks, and GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Program will continue discussions with them to advocate for improvements in the quality, quantity and diversity of their LGBT representations.
The Executive Summary of the report can be viewed online at GLAAD.org. A PDF of the full report can also be downloaded at GLAAD.org.
The 14th Annual GLAAD Where We Are On TV report on diversity will be issued in September 2009. This analysis will examine LGBT inclusion as well as the gender and race/ethnicity of all scripted characters scheduled to appear during the 2009-2010 season.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.
BOSTON. The largest survey to date comparing the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to heterosexuals and non-transgender residents showed sharp health disparities.
In a survey of nearly 1,600 Massachusetts residents:
- Almost 31 percent of transgender citizens reported considering suicide in the past year, compared to just 2 percent for heterosexuals and 4 percent for gay or lesbian.
- Nearly 35 percent of transgender citizens said they were threatened with physical violence during their lifetime by an intimate partner, almost three times the rate of non-transgender residents.
- Just 45 percent of bisexual women said they had never had a mammogram, below the 59 percent of heterosexuals and 58 percent of lesbians.
- Bisexuals reported the most days binge drinking, having four or five drinks in a sitting an average of nearly two times in the past 30 days. Bisexuals also reported smoking marijuana nearly twice as often as heterosexuals.
New York‘s Sen. href=”/topics/Kirsten_Gillibrand”>Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday she had won the commitment of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold its first hearing this fall on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military.
The announcement is unusual because Gillibrand does not sit on the panel and did not push the issue in the last Congress, when she served on the House Armed Services Committee.
But the agreement by Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) capped a campaign Gillibrand has been waging in the last few weeks to scrap or suspend the controversial policy that has led the Pentagon to discharge thousands of gays and lesbians since 1994.
Two gay police officers have had a baby boy after one of their sisters agreed to act as a surrogate so they could become fathers, it has been revealed.
Lorna Bradley (31) volunteered to have their baby when her brother Steven Ponder (28), a special constable, revealed a desire to start a family with Pc Ivan Sigston (43).
Both men, who live together in Southampton, Hants, were present when mother-of-three Mrs Bradley gave birth to William Campbell Ponder-Sigston last month at her home in Worthing, West Sussex.
Speaking from her terraced property yesterday Mrs Bradley declined to go into detail about the arrangement but said they knew the story might leak out.
She said: “It’s a bit shocking because we didn’t know it was going to be in the paper. We are just thinking about what we are going to do at the moment.
Belfast Telegraph -
Paul Wysocki was about to show me the drop-in center for youth at the Billy DeFrank Center when the silent burglar alarm went off. Wysocki fiddled with the box to accept his code and wound up calling the alarm company, telling them all was fine. “There’s usually a little lag time before they call the police,” he explained. The situation bore more than a little irony. As interim executive director, Wysocki is sounding the public alarm for the center, San Jose‘s gathering place for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. But he has no lag time. Last week, he dispatched an e-mail that bluntly said the center would have to close its doors by Sept. 1 unless it raises $50,000. Wysocki hopes to coax backers to sign up for continuing contributions that would total $20,000 a month. “We had been talking about what we needed to do to get people’s attention,” said the red-haired 60-year-old, an exuberant and funny man who has become an expert in turning around nonprofits. “We decided we had to hit them right between the eyes.”
Paul Wysocki was about to show me the drop-in center for youth at the Billy DeFrank Center when the silent burglar alarm went off.
Wysocki fiddled with the box to accept his code and wound up calling the alarm company, telling them all was fine. “There’s usually a little lag time before they call the police,” he explained.
The situation bore more than a little irony. As interim executive director, Wysocki is sounding the public alarm for the center, San Jose‘s gathering place for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. But he has no lag time.
Last week, he dispatched an e-mail that bluntly said the center would have to close its doors by Sept. 1 unless it raises $50,000. Wysocki hopes to coax backers to sign up for continuing contributions that would total $20,000 a month.
“We had been talking about what we needed to do to get people’s attention,” said the red-haired 60-year-old, an exuberant and funny man who has become an expert in turning around nonprofits. “We decided we had to hit them right between the eyes.”See DeFrank Center’s boss knows a challenge when he sees one
The argument that protecting Metro government’s gay employees would force the private sector to follow suit is all backward, supporters of a new anti-discrimination measure say.
Around the country, 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies’ anti-discrimination policies include sexual orientation or gender identity. In Nashville, some of the city’s largest private employers — http://www.vanderbilt.edu/“>Vanderbilt University and http://www.hcahealthcare.com/“>Hospital Corporation of America — put similar policies into place.
Against that landscape, the new measure’s supporters say, it should have a better chance of passage than a similar one proposed in 2003. But opponents say following the private-sector pack isn’t the way to go.
“Just because someone else does something doesn’t mean it’s right, and we learned that when we all took off from kindergarten,” said David Fowler, a former state senator and president of the http://www.factn.org/“>Family Action Council of Tennessee. “So unless we are going to act like lemmings and just blindly do what everybody else is doing, we need to stop and think before we make this a law.”
The city already has protections based on race, sex, religious affiliation and national origin in place, Fowler said, and protection based on sexuality is incongruous. He also said such a law could expose the city to lawsuits by people who feel it was broken.
Daniel Radcliffe hates homophobia.
The ‘Harry Potter’ actor – who is dating actress Laura O’Toole – was raised to treat everyone equally and he thinks singling someone out because of their sexuality is wrong.
He said: “I just loathe homophobia. It’s just disgusting and animal and stupid and it’s just thick people who can’t get their heads around it and are just scared.
“I grew up around gay people entirely. I was the only child in my class who had any experience of homosexuality or anything like that.
“I hate any type of prejudice.”
The 20-year-old British star also spoke of his political beliefs and called on people to follow his decision to vote Liberal Democrat in the next election.
He added to Britain’s Attitude magazine: “At the next election I will almost certainly vote Liberal Democrat. See Daniel Radcliffe slams ‘stupid’ homophobes
NZ City -
Andrew Sullivan reports: “I was shocked tonight to bump into a new friend, Mark, hobbling down the street. I was about to make a joke as I rode up behind him on my bike and then saw his face. It was a blur of blood and bruises. Friday night, he was leaving the Atlantic House – an historic gay pub in Ptown – when a group of three local kids hiding in an alley-way to target gays threw a bottle at his face and called him a faggot. He threw the bottle back and then they set upon him. He’s not a slight guy, he’s strong and built and bearded. But he was clearly reeling from the assault and will return to the hospital tomorrow. The cops apparently responded heroically and after a chase captured the assailants.” See A Brutal Gay-Bashing In ptown
LOS ANGELES — Discouraged by stubborn poll numbers and pessimistic political consultants, major financial backers of same-sex marriage are cautioning gay rights groups to delay a campaign to overturn California’s ban on such unions until at least 2012.
Earlier this year, many supporters of same-sex marriage seemed eager to mount a 2010 campaign to overturn Proposition 8, which was passed by California voters in November and defined marriage as “between a man and a woman.”
But the timing of another campaign has since been questioned by several of the movement’s big donors, including David Bohnett, a millionaire philanthropist and technology entrepreneur who gave more than $1 million to the unsuccessful campaign to defeat Proposition 8.
“In conversations with a number of my fellow major No on 8 donors,” Mr. Bohnett said in an e-mail message, “I find that they share my sentiment: namely, that we will step up to the plate — with resources and talent — when the time is right.”
“The only thing worse than losing in 2008,” he added, “would be to lose again in 2010.”
The issue of when to go back to the polls was also the central topic at a contentious “leadership summit” held Saturday at a church in San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, where about 200 gay rights advocates gathered to discuss their next step. It was the second large meeting of gay leaders since late May when the California Supreme Court ruled against a legal challenge to Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote.
Shortly after the court’s decision, officials at Equality California, one of the largest gay rights groups in California, issued an online plea for donations for a possible 2010 campaign, citing a need to capitalize on anger over the decision and on the seeming momentum from the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in several other states.
But that thinking has apparently evolved.
Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, said he spent June and early July asking the opinions of nearly two dozen California political consultants and pollsters and had been surprised by the almost unanimous opinion that a 2010 race was a bad idea.
“I expected having watched the protests and the real pain that the L.G.B.T. community had experienced that there would be some real measurable remorse in the electorate,” Mr. Solomon said, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “But if you look at the poll numbers since November, they really haven’t moved at all.”
A major factor in any California balloting, of course, is money; campaigns here are remarkably expensive, with a number of costly media markets. The Proposition 8 campaign, for example, cost more than $80 million, with opponents spending some $43 million.
Sarah Callahan, ch
New York Times
As of Sept. 1, the diocese of Niagara will allow its priests to bless same-gender couples who have been civilly married.
Niagara becomes the second diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada, after the Vancouver-based New Westminster, to offer a sacrament for same-sex blessings. (The diocese of New Westminster, which allowed same-sex blessings in 2002, currently limits the rite to eight parishes.) The issue of same-sex blessings continues to deeply divide Anglicans in Canada as well as worldwide.
“The Niagara Rite is intended for the voluntary use of priests who wish to offer a sacrament of blessing regardless of the gender of the civilly married persons…” the diocese of Niagara said on its Web site, www.niagara.anglican.ca
The rite may also be used for the blessing or renewal of vows for couples “celebrating a significant moment in their married life together,” said an introduction to the Niagara Rite.
The approval of the rite came five years after the diocesan synod of Niagara passed a motion allowing civilly-married gay couples, “where at least one party is baptized,” to receive a church blessing. The diocesan bishop at that time, Ralph Spence, had refused to implement the motion. In January 2008, a similar motion was approved by Niagara’s diocesan synod, and this time, Bishop Spence gave his approval, but said he reserved the right to determine when the same-sex blessings would move forward.
Last fall, Bishop Spence’s successor, Michael Bird, informed a meeting of the Canadian house of bishops that he intended to develop the rite, saying, “I believe we are among those who have been called by God to speak with a prophetic voice on this subject.”
Under a list of protocols outlined by Bishop Bird, a cleric who wishes to offer the Niagara Rite must contact the bishop’s office “so that a conversation can take place between the bishop and the cleric involved.” The cleric is expected to provide details about the couple the cleric intends to bless “and should be prepared to have a conversation about the response of the parish to the blessings,” the list added. “A date for such a blessing should not be confirmed with the couple until after this conversation with the bishop has taken place.”
A parish is not required to get the approval of its vestry before it can offer such blessings.
Two other dioceses – Montreal and Ottawa – have also informed the house of bishops about their intention to move ahead with same-sex blessings. At that meeting, the house of bishops issued a statement saying that a “large majority” of its members could affirm “a continued commitment to the greatest extent possible” to a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions. But it acknowledged that the moratorium, which had been sought by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the primates of the Anglican Communion, would be difficult for some dioceses “that in confidence have made decisions on these matters.”
The issue of whether dioceses can offer same-sex blessings is likely to be revisited at the 2010 meeting of General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada. In 2007, General Synod had agreed that blessing rites for gay couples are “not in conflict” with core church doctrine, but refused to affirm the authority of dioceses to offer them. General Synod delegates had also voted to study revising the marriage canon (church law) to allow priests to marry all legally qualified persons. Marriage for gay people has been legal in Canada since 2005.
Last spring, Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body in between General Synod meetings, decided not to ask General Synod 2010 to amend the marriage canon to allow for the marriage of same-sex couples. The decision was made after the faith, worship and ministry committee, which was asked by CoGS to prepare “a theological rationale to allow for the marriage of all legally qualified persons,” said that it found the request problematic. Janet Marshall, committee chair, told CoGS that some members felt uncomfortable about being asked to create a rationale for only one side of the argument.