Gay community's silence is deafening

Being President has its privileges.

Being President has its privileges.

You get the big chair on Air Force One; people stand when you enter a room; and hardly anyone ever tells you to your face they dislike you (they stand across the street and wave signs). And now, evidently, you can conjure up studies disparaging a whole swath of society, and those folks will let it slide. As proof, we offer the almost total lack of response from the gay and lesbian community after the President recently ad-libbed evidence suggesting they were unfit parents. In a January 27 New York Times interview, President Bush answered a question about gay adoption by saying, "Studies [show] that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman." Unfortunately, that's not quite what the studies say. In a follow-up article, the Times reported, "Experts say there is no scientific evidence that children raised by gay couples do any worse - socially, academically, or emotionally - than their peers raised in more traditional households." What the studies do show is that kids fare better in two-parent families, regardless of gender. So we looked for PR efforts by the gay community to set the record straight. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a press release and made some media calls, but neither GLAAD, the Family Pride Coalition, the Advocate.com, nor any other prominent GLBT group even mentioned it on their website. A Factiva search turned up not a single news article or broadcast about the gay community refuting what the President said. The White House also confirmed that the issue had not been brought up at any public briefings, hence no clarification would be issued. For a group that's long held that silence equals death, we have to wonder why the gay community chose this moment to lose its voice.
  • Douglas Quenqua writes PR Play of the Week. He is PRWeek's news editor. Ratings: 1. Clueless 2. Ill-advised 3. On the right track 4. Savvy 5. Ingenious

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