Washington, D.C. – A study by the Center for American Progress found that when media is looking for comments from a religious source, they usually turn to those who oppose LGBTQ equality. According to a press release from CAP, the finding is in stark contrast to overall support for LGBTQ rights by religious Americans. While 66 percent of the views expressed in media by those religious sources are negative, only 29 percent of Americans who identify as religious hold those negative views.
The context for this study was the broad acceptance of LGBTQ rights by religious groups in the United States. Large majorities of every major religious group favor nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people. Majorities in every major religious group—with the exception of white evangelical Protestants—also support marriage equality. Religious Americans strongly support LGBTQ rights, and this reality should be reflected to ensure fair and accurate media coverage. The report notes that as public support in faith communities has shifted dramatically in recent years, news media hasn’t reflected this shift in who it quotes. The study covered articles that appeared in the Associated Press, three national newspapers, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and 10 local publications including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, The Charlotte Observer, The Detroit News, The Houston Chronicle, The Kansas City Star, and The Tennessean between April 2019 and June 2020.
If coverage of Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy for president and the fight in the Methodist Church over LGBTQ inclusion were omitted, the number of anti-LGBTQ references would even be higher. In the case of the Methodist Church and coverage by the Morning News that would be especially true since almost all Methodist churches in Dallas favor full LGBTQ inclusion. (Dallas Voice – David Taffet at https://dallasvoice.com/when-looking-for-a-religious-opinion-media-usually-cites-anti-gay-religious-sources/)
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