Pro-LGBT Religious Voices Underrepresented In The Media, Finds New GLAAD Study
Written by Instinct Staff |
Thursday, 12 April 2012
|Tags: glaad, pro lgbt, voices, studies, religion, media, represented, anti-gay, christianity, university of missouri|
A study conducted by GLAAD in partnership with the University of Missouri Center on Religion and the Professions has found that pro-LGBT religious representatives are nearly invisible in the national media. Details follow.
The thee year study reveals that media sources regularly seek out anti-gay religious representations while shunning pro-LGBT voices.
In summary, according to a release:
By persistently reducing a diverse range of religious voices, intra-denominational progress, and public policy debate on LGBT issues to a ‘religion versus gay’ frame, the news media is largely omitting a pro-LGBT religious perspective and ignoring individuals who identify as both LGBT and religious, particularly those who identify as Christian. As a result of this binary framing, it is likely that media consumers have distorted views of the relationship between LGBT people and religion.
Some of the key highlights from the study:
- Whenever LGBT issues are discussed by religious voices in national media, outlets disproportionally quote or interview Evangelical Christian individuals (34 percent) and organizations (50 percent) and the messages from those sources were overwhelmingly negative (76 percent).
- Evangelical Christians account for almost 40 percent of all the negative statements about LGBT issues made by religiously identified spokespeople.
- Roman Catholic spokespeople account for another 12 percent of all negative statements about LGBT issues made by religiously identified spokespeople.
- Over half of Catholics consulted presented negative messages about LGBT issues, which is significantly inconsistent with the majority of Catholics who support LGBT people. (see below).
- Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholic spokespeople are consulted at rates higher than their proportion of the population (Evangelical 34 percent versus 26 percent; Roman Catholic 29 percent versus 24 percent). Mainline Protestants (Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc.) and self-identified Humanist, atheist, and agnostic spokespeople are consulted at rates lower than their percentage of the United States population.
- The mainstream media used far fewer religious sources from Mainline Protestant (17 percent), Jewish (5 percent), or other religious sources whose messages were predominantly positive.
- Pro-LGBT or LGBT-identified sources are predominantly presented without any religious affiliation, thus contributing to a false and overly sensational ‘religion vs. gay’ frame.
“Today’s media has a responsibility to reflect the diversity of religious voices, rather than just those who choose not to support LGBT people,” said Ross Murray, Director of the Religion, Faith & Values Program at GLAAD. “By elevating select anti-LGBT voices who are out of touch with so many in their own churches, media is falsely representing views of entire religious groups and contributing to a climate that isolates LGBT youth and adults from their faith, a false dichotomy that no one should have to make.”
(Source: GLAAD; Image)