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Fox Ignores Marriage Equality Victories While Peddling Anti-Equality Horror Stories

May 15, 2013 1:31 pm ET by Carlos Maza

Fox News chose to ignore the historic passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota, opting instead to promote a handful of asinine horror stories about same-sex marriage.  

Fox News viewers are likely unaware that three states – Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota –voted to legalize same-sex marriage over the past three weeks. That’s because Fox News spent a total of one minute covering the stories, according to an Equality Matters analysis:

While CNN and MSNBC both covered the developments, Fox News made only three mentions of the passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island, entirely ignoring the new law in Delaware.

At the same time that Fox was ignoring these historic victories, the network promoted several stories meant to stoke right-wing fears about marriage equality.

On May 1 – just one day before Rhode Island’s vote – Fox News host Bill O’Reilly criticized a speech by Masha Gessen, a Russian gay activist who claimed that marriage equality would – and should -- “change” the institution of marriage, adding “it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.” O’Reilly cited the speech as evidence that “a lot of gay activists” might secretly want to destroy marriage – a plot that O’Reilly refers to as “the Swedish model”:

The whole segment was pure, unadulterated Fox News nonsense. Marriage is on the rise in Sweden. Gessen is not a spokesperson for the marriage equality movement. She gave her speech year ago at a writers’ festival (though it recently resurfaced on several anti-gay websites). And people from across the political spectrum have been calling for the abolition of marriage since long before marriage equality was a serious possibility.  

This wasn’t Fox’s only baseless attack on same-sex marriage. On May 10, the crew at Fox & Friends criticized the “P.C. police” for including gender-neutral language on certain federal forms in order to accommodate same-sex couples.

Fox’s failure to report on major state victories for marriage equality in May wasn’t a result of having too many news stories to cover; the network had more than enough time to air multiple throw-away segments about the supposed dangers of same-sex marriage.

Rather, it was the result of the network’s tendency to ignore major advancements for LGBT equality while ginning up baseless fears about how that equality might threaten Fox’s target audience.

To see the full Equality Matters report, click here.