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Look: Salon’s Unfortunate ‘Gay Marriage Courage-Meter’

by David Badash on March 28, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Look: Salon’s Unfortunate ‘Gay Marriage Courage-Meter’

The website Salon — which we like and respect very much — just published something they call “Salon’s gay marriage courage-meter,” and it’s an unfortunate exercise in trying to make civil rights into fashion.

“Here, then — with a tip of the hat to New York magazine’s ‘approval matrix’ — is our gay marriage courage-meter,” they write. “On the x-axis is timing — who was ahead of the curve, and who just came to the party this week. The y-axis represents who showed guts and risked political capital for their support. Below the courage-meter is a short legend with background on the selections.”

This would almost make sense except for the fact that it’s incomplete. Had this exercise been a full accounting of, say, every current sitting Senator and Congressman, perhaps it would have been beneficial.

But throwing in Eliot Spitzer and Steve Schmidt just make it — like New York Magazine’s matrix — an expression and rating of what’s “fashionable.” (Not that we don’t appreciate their support!)

And frankly, while I’m thrilled it’s “fashionable” to support equality — including marriage equality — I’m a little tired of “the gays” being used as a way to get attention — by supporting us or by opposing us.

Ever notice that some former star or personality trying to make a comeback always seems to weigh in on same-sex marriage?

Salon, go back to the drawing board, and produce something useful and educational, and we’ll gladly support it.

Support for civil rights and same-sex marriage shouldn’t be an exercise in fashion.

We’d love to see the list of the (at least) 15 sitting governors who support same-sex marriage be included.

Or the list of 135 prominent Republicans who signed an amicus brief in support of marriage equality.

Or the list of 48 U.S. Senators who support same-sex marriage.

Or the 171 U.S. Congressmen.

Or the 103 former U.S. Congressmen.

Or the more than 100 sitting mayors.

Back to the drawing board, please!

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{ 2 comments }

Kiltedbear March 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

They have these kinds of graphs all the time in Wired magazine. It's a data graph and is only supposed to display notable people or things, either positive or negative. If you tried to be "complete" as you suggest, you could never do it in this format. It would have to be a list, but lists get ignored. Graphical data is much more interesting to people. It keeps their attention. You wouldn't know this however most likely unless you were a graphic designer. You also say "we will support it" as if you speak for the gay and pro gay crowd. I don't understand why your are so irritated by this graph, but you certainly don't speak for me…

James_M_Martin March 29, 2013 at 12:49 am

I don't know about anyone else, but if Cuomo runs for president I will vote for him. I even think he would be as good as Hillary.

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