GLAAD asks candidates to state views on gay issues

LOS ANGELES: A few weeks ago, GLAAD began a media outreach campaign aimed at encouraging California's political journalists to question gubernatorial candidates about their position on gay, lesbian, and transgender rights.

LOS ANGELES: A few weeks ago, GLAAD began a media outreach campaign aimed at encouraging California's political journalists to question gubernatorial candidates about their position on gay, lesbian, and transgender rights.

GLAAD initiated the effort, which focuses on key reporters at "bellwether" outlets such as The Sacramento Bee, largely because leading GOP contender Arnold Schwarzenegger is often described as "pro-gay" in media reports, the group said.

GLAAD officials said they had been receiving media calls asking for information on the candidates' positions, and decided the effort was necessary to encourage gubernatorial hopefuls to clearly state their platforms. After ducking the issue for some time, Schwarzenegger last week clarified his stance on one major gay-rights issue, same-sex marriage. During an interview on The Sean Hannity Show, a few weeks after the GLAAD effort began, the candidate came out against gay marriage.

"It's been hard not to notice that a lot of media covering candidates have not taken the time to do the investigative work or ask the questions that need to be asked," said GLAAD communications director John Sonego.

Schwarzenegger has been "consistently described as pro-gay. Yet when you actually question or try to figure out what fact validates that statement, you can't find it," he said before Schwarzenegger had given the Hannity interview.

GLAAD has also highlighted that the candidate recently hired spokesman Rob Stutzman, who has backed legislation opposed by most gay-rights groups.

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