A new push for gay marriage begins on
Monday with the birthing of Equality Matters.
“We believe that the moment for
decisive action for full gay equality is here – that this moment is
a historic imperative,” Richard Socarides, president of the nascent
group, said in a statement announcing the group. “The goal of
Equality Matters is to leverage our expertise in media and
communications, and politics and policy, to support those who share
that belief and help create an environment where policymakers, the
courts, the media and the public at large understand that gay rights
are human rights.”
The group bills itself as a
“communications war room for gay equality” and its new website is
expected to tackle homophobia in the media.
The group is launching after a decisive
victory – the
demise of the military's ban on openly gay service – and is
looking to clear a political path for lawmakers supportive of gay
rights, including marriage.
“Going forward, we must continue to
do battle against the cynical obstructionists of the right-wing
apparatus and conservative movement who still try to exploit fear for
their own partisan and anti-Obama political reasons,” Socarides, a
former adviser on gay rights to President Bill Clinton, added. “It's
clear the right-wing wants to continue to have this fight through the
upcoming presidential election and – as candidate Bob Dole tried to
do against Bill Clinton in1996 with the issue of marriage – use it
as a wedge against Democrats and progressives.”
The group's leadership flows from Media
Matters for America, the progressive media watchdog group founded by
journalist and author David Brock after coming out gay and defecting
from the conservative movement.
Its website, available
on Monday, will be edited by Kerry Eleveld, the Washington
correspondent for gay glossy The Advocate. Eleveld begins her
new job in January.