Washington Post ombudsman, reporter compare supporters of traditional marriage to racists
CWN - February 28, 2013
The belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is a stance akin to racism, according to the ombudsman of The Washington Post.
"Because our profession lives and dies on the First Amendment one of the libertarian cornerstones of the Constitution most journalists have a problem with religionists telling people what they can and cannot do," writes Patrick Pexton. "We want to write words, read books, watch movies, listen to music, and have sex and babies pretty much when, where and how we choose."
"Yet many Americans feel that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry diminishes the value of their heterosexual marriages," he continued. "I don't understand this. The lesbian couple down the street raising two kids or the two men across the hall in your condominium how do those unions take anything away from the sanctity, fidelity or joy you take in your heterosexual marriage?"
"That's why many journalists have a hard time giving much voice to those opposed to gay marriage," Pexton added. "They see people opposed to gay rights today as cousins, perhaps distant cousins, of people in the 1950s and 1960s who, citing God and the Bible, opposed black people sitting in the bus seat, or dining at the lunch counter, of their choosing."
Pexton made his comments after he recounted an e-mail exchange between a reader and a reporter:
The reader wrote that Post stories too often minimize the conservative argument: "The overlooked 'other side' on the gay issue is quite legitimate, and includes the Pope, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, evangelist Billy Graham, scholars such as Robert George of Princeton, and the millions of Americans who believe in traditional marriage and oppose redefining marriage into nothingness. .?.?. Is there no room in The Post for those who support the male-female, procreative model of marriage?"
Replied the reporter: "The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time. Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that's the 'view of the world' that we espouse; therefore, journalists are going to cover the segment of society that is still not treated equally under the law."
The reader: "Contrary to what you say, the mission of journalism is not justice. Defining justice is a political matter, not journalistic. Journalism should be about accuracy and fairness.
"Good journalism also means not demeaning conservatives as 'haters.' "
The reporter: "As for accuracy, should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn't marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn't be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right?
"Of course I have a bias. I have a bias toward fairness," the reporter continued. "The true conservative would have the same bias. The true conservative would want the government out of people's bedrooms, and religion out of government."
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