National Briefs: Accountability and Accommodation

GLAAD goes after off-camera offenses, and the Big Apple welcomes Out NYC


GLAAD Launches Commentator Accountability Project

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has begun a new campaign aimed at dousing anti-gay remarks from commentators across the country. The Commentator Accountability Project, or CAP, will ”put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters,” GLAAD announced on March 14.

The media watchdog organization said that audiences need to be aware of the statements anti-gay commentators make when not in front of cameras on national news networks.

”The Commentator Accountability Project is bringing all of these statements to light, while calling attention to the sentiments behind them,” GLAAD announced on the group’s website. ”We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the ‘other side’ of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.”

Thirty-six commentators, including Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America; and former state director for the California branch of American Family Association, Scott Lively, are being targeted by GLAAD as founts of anti-gay rhetoric. CAP’s creation has sparked outrage within conservative religious groups. In a blog post on Catholic.org, Deacon Keith Fournier called GLAAD’s new project a ”ministry of propaganda,” and wrote that it ”blacklists” commentators for their remarks.

”Many newsrooms don’t actually know the extent of the animosity that these anti-LGBT activists hold towards the LGBT community,” Aaron McQuade, GLAAD’s director of news and field media, wrote on Mediaite. ”They’re often careful not to say these things in the mainstream media. But get them speaking to right-wing radio, or writing statements to their supporters, and you see them in a whole new way.”

New York City Gets a New Kind of Gay Accommodation

Billing itself as New York’s first hotel designed specifically for gay travelers, The Out NYC Urban Resort has opened its doors in the city’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

”This project has been in the planning for five years, and after 18 months of construction, we are proud to announce the opening of the city’s, and maybe even the world’s, first gay-focused, straight-friendly, urban resort,” co-owner Ian Reisner told Reuters.

Notably, the Axel Hotels chain offers ”heterofriendly” – similar to Out NYC’s ”straight friendly” tagline – gay-targeted hotels in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Berlin.

”With 105 rooms, we don’t expect to house many people, but we expect the Out NYC will become the epicenter of gay life for LGBT New Yorkers,” Reisner told Reuters.

Among the hotel’s novel offerings are ”Sleep Shares” rooms, offering single beds for four guests, each with its own television, storage area and privacy curtain.