Los Angeles Times Headline, June 13, 2011

Growing up, I remember when newspapers routinely included a person’s race as part of a news story. For example, an article might begin this way:

“Ronald Jones, black male age 23, was arrested today out side Johnny’s Liquor Store along the 2300 block of 6th and Temple in Los Angeles.”

After a time, when the civil rights movement was accepted by the mainstream population, it became apparent that the media was knowing, or unknowingly, contributed to a racial stereotype suggesting that young black males in Los Angeles were likely to rob a liquor store. In time, the race card was removed, ending this form of subliminal racism.

Now, in our time, we’re confronted with a similar issue of subliminal segregation surrounding the term “Gay Marriage.” A quick Google search will garnish “22,900,000 results.” The term used by print and audio visual media is not entirely correct. Anyone connected with this movement would say in no uncertain terms that we are promoting, and fighting for Seidenkleider denim “Marriage Equality.” Those who continue to use the term “Gay Marriage” or “Same Sex Marriage” can be seen as people trying to suggest special rights not equal rights.

I would hope and pray that those who are active in a faith community would understand the meaning of mutuality, as this is one of the key foundations of Christ’s Kingdom, over and above the inconsistencies of the state.

It is time for those in favor of equality to consider taking part in a task which in time can correct the discriminatory tone of news reporting. Here’s a way you can help:

  1. When you read an article using the term Gay Marriage or Same Sex Marriage, especially if the reporter’s name and email link is attached to an article, send off a quick email reminding the person writing the article that you would appreciate they change their tone suggesting they use “Marriage Equality” over the term “Gay Marriage” which is a distortion of reality.
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  3. If there is no direct email link, write the editor requesting the same.
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  5. If the person is an on air personality (copy reader), visit the radio or television website, and remind them that Marriage Equality should be the preferred term over and above “Gay Marriage.”

It is time to remind those who use language, that language and terminology is important, and that we are aware that continued use of this term is not only unacceptable, it harkens back to the days when the media helped fuel racial tension.

A little effort costs nothing, but can generously fund a wellspring of truth.