TALKING TO THE MEDIA: Radio Shows Hosts & Marriage
February 14, 2009Guest Blogger: James Hipps
There is a great deal of information and misinformation floating around these days about same-sex marriage. The Internet has been a key medium in the dissemination of facts and opinions on the many facets of this “hot topic”, which include, but are not limited to civil rights, equality, inclusion, religious beliefs, etc. There has also been a great deal of coverage on the television, in the newspapers and on the radio. All of these forms of communication have played an important role in the struggle for and against same-sex marriage. They have attributed to successes and failures, regardless of the side you have taken.
So, what does this mean to you? Chances are, if you’re reading this, its because you believe in equality. Many of us are making contributions towards equality, and many of us aren’t aware of the impact we have. Many feel they would like to become involved, but perhaps are not sure how. Some may feel if they do, it will not make a difference. Please rest assured, all involvement, at any level makes a difference. No matter how minute a single contribution may seem, in the end, it is helping to build a grand effort.
I would like to take this opportunity to address another concern of involvement. There is a population of people who would like to make a difference, but still fear negative impacts may occur if they do. When it is still legal in 33 states to be fired for being lesbian or gay, this unfortunately can be a very real fear. However, one of the best ways to make a difference, without worrying about disclosing your identity is speaking to the media. We all have a voice, and our voices must be heard. Dialogue is going to be key in achieving marriage equality. It is up to us to dispel the lies and misinformation that is being distributed by all forms of the media.
One of the best ways to let your voice be heard without taking the risk of being exposed is writing. Today, practically all radio and TV stations, newspapers, local officials and congressmen alike have websites and email. In many instances, especially with newspaper, television and radio sites, you can submit your opinion without revealing your identity.
Please take the time to write in to theses sites with your opinions and supporting facts. Believe it or not, even the sites that represent those who stand against same-sex marriage will typically print what you have written.
What is the importance of this? For starters, it tells those opposed there are people who don’t agree with them. It is important for us to speak rationally about these issues and not be afraid to address those with differing views. Respectfully standing up for what you believe, even if it doesn’t change a person mind, will at least reinforce that not all agree. Also, there are those who have not decided which side of the fence they are on with this issue. If one of those people happens to come across a site that is against gay marriage, but read an opposing view that is clear and factual, it just may sway them to become a supporter. You never know who is reading or where they stand. Silence in this situation gains nothing.
In your quest to support, you may run across a situation where responding to someone’s opinion sparks a heated retaliation. If this happens, maintain your composure. If someone you address becomes upset or irate, and you do not, they will not only appear irrational, but loose accreditation. Always maintain the upper hand by staying calm and rational. People are much more likely to listen, and believe you if you do. Again, it is important to keep in mind that it may not be the opinion of the person you’re addressing whose mind you’re going to change.
Regardless of how you do it, now is the time to speak. There is a great deal of attention being paid to this issue and your voice is important, so please let it be heard. Contact the media and voice your thoughts. They are needed now more than ever.
A simple message to give all in opposition of equality: Whether you know it or not, someone you love is gay. Whether you know them or not, someone gay is fighting for rights from which we will all benefit.
***James Hipps is editor for GayAgenda.com