Fact Check

Anti-Gay Commentators Distort GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project

March 26, 2012 3:29 pm ET

Earlier this month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launched its Commentator Accountability Project (CAP), an effort geared towards providing news outlets with background information about the anti-LGBT activists they rely on for commentary. Although GLAAD’s CAP brings to light quotes made by anti-LGBT commentators, the project has been widely criticized by right-wing activists, who have accused GLAAD of trying to censor and silence opposing viewpoints.

Anti-LGBT Activists Accuse GLAAD Of Censoring, Silencing Their Voices

FRC’s Peter Sprigg:  “An Honor” To Be “Among Top 36 Commentators On Homosexuality” That Glad “Wants To Censor.” In a March 14 tweet, Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg wrote:

[Peter Sprigg tweet, 3/14/12]

FoF’s Gary Schneeberger: GLAAD’s CAP Is “An Attempt To Stifle Freedom Of Speech And Freedom Of Religion.” In a March 14 article for CitizenLink, Focus on the Family Vice President of Communications Gary Schneeberger condemned GLAAD for “trying to intimidate the media”:

Schneeberger added that GLAAD’s campaign was “rather chilling.”

“This is an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and freedom of religion by trying to intimidate the media into forfeiting their constitutional right to freedom of the press,” he explained. They’re seeking to saw three of the five legs of freedom off the stool that holds up the First Amendment.”

“America was founded on debate and discussion; that formula has worked pretty well for us for more than 230 years. It makes you wonder why GLAAD would want to eradicate it.” [CitizenLink, 3/14/12]

FoF’s Candi Cushman: GLAAD Created A “Public Enemy List.” In a March 15 blog post for CitizenLink, Focus on the Family Analyst Candi Cushman accused GLAAD of creating a “blacklist” of anti-gay spokespersons:

I found it fascinating to read the announcement yesterday that I had been included in a list of 36 dangerous radicals who should be banned from national television and print outlets. That’s definitely a first.

But rather than feeling the shame it was intended to create, I guess I’m feeling rather honored to be included alongside the likes of Focus on the Family President Jim Daly; Prison Fellowship’s Chuck Colson and the head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler. All of whom are compassionate, biblically minded leaders who unabashedly proclaim the redemptive truth that we’ve all fallen short of God’s plan for humanity and that we are all equally in need of a Savior.

This blacklist was created by a group called GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. But after this action, I think it’s fair to say they appear to only be against certain types of “defamation.”

They’ve issued a blanket accusation against all of the leaders, researchers and spokespeople on their list, claiming “They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.”  

GLAAD is calling its public enemy list the “Commentator Accountability Project”—meaning, when anyone on the bad list appears on television, radio or in print, GLAAD wants individuals to fill out an online report. Then GLAAD will use that information to pressure media outlets to exclude those individuals. In press releases and interviews, the organization says it aims to warn the media about the “extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric” of the spokespeople and the fact that they “aren’t experts.” [CitizenLink, 3/15/12]

Michael Brown: GLAAD’s CAP Is “Bigotry, Intolerance, And Attempted Censorship.” In a March 19 TownHall column, anti-gay commentator Michael Brown criticized GLAAD’s CAP for being part of a larger campaign against people who disagree with pro-gay rights activists:

[F]or those who claim that GLAAD is not trying to engage in censorship, note well that at the end of 2010, GLAAD launched a petition drive urging “CNN to Make a New Year's Resolution: Keep Away From the Anti-Gay Industry.” Yes, said GLAAD, “It's time for outlets to finally drop several hundred pounds of unhealthy weight, which they've been carrying around for years, in the form of anti-gay activists. . . . CNN and the rest of the media are doing nothing but exposing their viewers to dangerous anti-gay rhetoric when they invite members of these anti-gay groups onto their programming. Starting in 2011, this needs to stop.”

This must be labeled for what it is, namely, bigotry, intolerance, and attempted censorship, which is why – to repeat yet again – I say that we recognize GLAAD for what it is: the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement. [TownHall.com, 3/19/12]

Radio Host Kevin McCullough: I’m Being Targeted By The Forces Of “The Evil One.” Conservative radio host Kevin McCullough – while guest hosting for the American Family Association’s Focal Point radio show – accused GLAAD of working on behalf of “the Evil One”:

McCULLOUGH: When you get targeted by the enemy, and I mean “the Evil One,” I don’t mean human beings, but I mean by his forces, it gives -- it can be rather earth-shaking and then it can be very deliberately motivating. And so I would ask, friends, that as you have just heard, I’ve just told you about this list that GLAAD has put out


McCULLOUGH: About thirty people that have been targeted by the most radical of activists that are seeking to basically blackball our voice from being allowed to be put in the public arena. They basically say on their website today that they’re going to “aim to deliver information,” whatever that is and whatever they want to say, “into the hands of newsrooms and editors and hosts and reporters, journalists and producers.” They want to paint us with a broad brush and in some cases try to get us banned from being allowed to talk. Because they obviously believe in free speech, right? [Focal Point3/14/12]

McCullough: GLAAD “Want[s] Me Dead. From the Match 14 edition of AFA’s Focal Point:

MCCULLOUGH: Here’s how GLAAD thinks. GLAAD believes as long as there’s a single person that has an independent thought that has anything to do with God or morality, saying that only certain types of sexual expression are healthiest, that that is hate. And until they’ve erased all the hate on the planet, they’re not going to be satisfied. Someone asked me before I went on the show today, ”what do you think their end goal in developing this list is? Is it just to get you blackballed off media?” I said “no, they want me dead. They’re not going to be happy until my voice goes dark.” [Focal Point3/14/12]

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber: GLAAD Trying To Silence Dissent To Promote “Radical Secular Socialism.” Speaking to OneNewsNow, Liberty Counsel Vice President Matt Barber condemned GLAAD for “attempting to silence” anti-gay activists:

Since they cannot win the debate on the merits, he says the only thing left for these activists to do is try to silence those who disagree with them. But he asserts that that will never happen.

"They need to understand -- liberals and secularists -- that as Christ followers, we will never, ever stop speaking God's truth in love," Barber comments. "We appreciate when they reveal who they really are here and reveal the weakness inherent within their own arguments by attempting to silence those who would dare to dissent with their radical secular socialism."

The attorney suggests that GLAAD is taking a page out of the Southern Poverty Law Center's playbook, "attempting to smear and marginalize those with whom they disagree" by designating them as "hate groups." [OneNewsNow, 3/15/12]

Mission America’s Linda Harvey: GLAAD Adopting Nazi-Like Tactics, Attempting A “Revolution.” In a March 20 column for WorldNetDaily, Mission America President Linda Harvey compared GLAAD’s CAP to tactics used in Nazi Germany:

Recognize this? Hate branding, focusing on Jews, succeeded in branding them as the “enemy” in public opinion in Nazi Germany. It’s the method used today by Islamic radicals who spread ludicrous fables about Jews in many mosques.

You would think the SPLC and even GLAAD might recognize this, search their hearts and say,”What are we doing here? Christians are not monsters and traditional values are not Hate!”

We have to call this what it is – an attempt at revolution. We need to come up with a no-nonsense response. I am of course not advocating anything abusive or violent. Unlike our ideological opponents, we tend to play by the rules, which is why truly honorable people are easy targets.

But playing by the rules, with the truth of the Lord in our corner, gives us more than enough advantage. We just need to think more strategically, we need to join forces, and we need to do it now. [WorldNetDaily, 3/20/12]

Alliance Defense Fund: GLAAD’s CAP “Targets Free Speech.” In a March 14 “Alliance Alert,” the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund promoted a Politico article about GLAAD’s CAP, titling the alert “GLAAD ‘Commentator Accountability Project’ targets free speech.” [ADF Alliance Alert, 3/14/12]

AFA’s Bryan Fischer: GLAAD “Blacklist” Is Like McCarthyism, Nazi Germany. During the March 22 edition of AFA’s Focal Point, host Bryan Fischer said:

FISCHER: GLAAD – this is a big-time homosexual advocacy organization – and they have launched what they call a Commentator Accountability Project, CAP for short. Commentator Accountability Project. Now they’ve listed 36 people on their hit list. I mean, this is like McCarthyism. This is like a black list. This is no different than what they claim, what the Left complains about Joseph McCarthy doing and the Hollywood blacklist back in the forties and fifties. This is no different. Trying to identify those they think represent a danger to their interest, to their agenda, and then trying to silence them.


FISCHER: So they want me blacklisted from media, from any appearances on media outlets because I speak the truth about the homosexual agenda


FISCHER: What did the Nazis do? They silenced their opposition. [Focal Point3/22/12]

Deacon Keith Fournier: GLAAD “Has Established A Ministry Of Propaganda.” In a March 21 article for Catholic Online, Catholic Way founder Keith Fournier criticized GLAAD for creating a “blacklist” to “ensure that only positions of the Homosexual Equivalency movement are allowed to be read, heard, or considered”:

In a sign of their growing intolerance of people who hold positions other than those of the Homosexual Cultural Revolution, the Media Watchdog Organization which calls itself "GLAAD" (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has issued a blacklist of commentators. 

This effort is called the "Commentator Accountability Project". The blacklist includes some people I know and admire. It also includes some of my favorite commentators, in both the Catholic and evangelical protestant communities. For example, both Robert George and Chuck Colson have been blacklisted.

The effort recruits likeminded parties to "spy". They are asked to send reports in to GLAAD if these commentators are featured in local media. GLAAD will then pressure the media sources to not feature their writing. In effect, the organization has established a ministry of propaganda. Its purpose seems to be to ensure that only the positions of the Homosexual Equivalency movement are allowed to be read, heard or considered. [Catholic Online, 3/21/12]

Catholic League’s Bill Donohue: GLAAD Lobbying To Get Guests Off The Air. In a March 19 tweet, Catholic League president Bill Donohue celebrated his inclusion in GLAAD’s CAP list:

[Catholic League tweet, 3/19/12]

Gary Bauer: GLAAD’s “Media ‘Black List’” Is “Latest Example Of The Radical Left’s Intolerance And Its Assault On Free Speech.” In the March 21 edition of his American Values newsletter, prominent conservative activist Gary Bauer railed against GLAAD’s “assault on free speech”:

I’m pleased to report that my name was included on a list of pro-family, Christian leaders. Others on the list include Chuck Colson, Tony Perkins, Jim Daly, Don Wildmon and Robert George. That’s pretty good company!

So, what is this list? It is a media “black list” drawn up by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as part of its so-called “Commentator Accountability Project.” GLAAD is working hard to silence conservative, pro-family, Christian voices in the media.

My friends, the culture war is real. This is just the latest example of the radical left’s intolerance and its assault on free speech. That is why Fox is under attack and why advertisers on the Rush Limbaugh Show are being threatened. It is more evidence of its efforts to force faith and conservatism out of public arena and into the closet. [American Values, 3/21/12]

Chuck Colson: GLAAD Seems More Interested In “Demonizing And Shouting Down Their Opponents” Than In Dialogue. In a March 17 op-ed for The Christian Post, conservative political commentator Chuck Colson depicted GLAAD’s CAP as a form of intimidation:

So, yes, I'm surprised I made the list. But sadly, I realize I shouldn't be. For one thing, this type of intimidation is par for the course for many in the so-called gay-rights movement. Not interested in dialogue, they seem more interested in demonizing and shouting down their opponents.

For another, their definition of "gay bashing" is skewed. For them, anything short of renouncing the historical Christian teaching on sexuality is akin to hate. If I say that homosexual sex is a sin, they say I'm hateful. Yet I also say that pre-marital sex is a sin, as is drinking too much. Is that hateful, too? [The Christian Post, 3/17/12]

WND’s Joseph Farah: GLAAD Presented “Not One Example” Of Anti-LGT Rhetoric. In a March 14 article, WorldNetDaily (WND) editor Joseph Farah claimed GLAAD was defaming anti-gay activists without evidence:

“The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation should more accurately be called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Criticism,” said Farah. “These people actually believe that if you have a different viewpoint and a different value system from them you are a hate-filled, bigoted monster. Here’s a group that claims in its own name that it is ‘against defamation,’ but actively defames those with whom it has disagreements. Not one example of hateful or defamatory language is offered as evidence against any of those listed in this report.” [WorldNetDaily, 3/14/12]

Peter Heck: GLAAD’s CAP Is “The Face Of Fascism,” “Fascism 101.” In a March 23 blog post, conservative radio host Peter Heck wrote:

If you’re looking for the face of fascism, look no further.  The homosexualists over at GLAAD have come out with a new hate list for those who disagree with them, and are using it to try to blacklist them from all media.  If you disagree with them on the issue of homosexuality as completely normal and moral, you are termed a hater who should not be allowed to speak to the issue.  No joke.


You get what’s going on here, right?  GLAAD is trying to use their media allies to totally silence any contrary view on the issue of homosexuality in the culture.  If you don’t share their views, you are a hater who shouldn’t be allowed to be heard.  So much for the marketplace of ideas, so much for free speech.  They simply term those who disagree with them “full of hate,” and then threaten media outlets not to empower or enable the spreading of hate.  It’s Fascism 101. [Liberty Tree blog, 3/23/12]

Pastor Jim Garlow: GLAAD Wants To “Destroy These People.” During a March 18 sermon at his church, anti-gay activist Jim Garlow said:

GARLOW: There are 36 of us total they’ve selected, they said ‘we want to destroy these people and keep them off the air, keep them from interviews.’ I’ve done about [inaudible] interviews. And they said ‘we want to keep them from not being allowed to speak anymore, that’s our goal.’ It’s a particular project they have called the Accountability Project. [Skyline Church sermon, 3/18/12]

NOM’s Jennifer Morse: GLAAD “Trying To Discredit Skeptics.” In a March 24 column for The Blaze, the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Jennifer Morse rejected being described as anti-gay, writing:

Earlier this month the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) “Commentator Accountability Project” included me on their list of people who deserve special scrutiny before they can be engaged as commentators on the marriage debate. But it is organizations like GLAAD that need to be held accountable for the impact of their rhetoric on the public debate.


Evidently GLAAD believes that raising legitimate questions about the group’s preferred policies automatically makes a person “anti-gay.”  But surely one can disagree with policies advocated by the National Education Association without hating every teacher in America, just as one can surely oppose policies advocated by the NAACP without being a racist.

Redefining marriage raises questions that deserve to be fully aired. Trying to discredit skeptics changes the subject. Equating all disagreement with evidence of bias lowers the intellectual level of the discussion. These rhetorical tactics do not do the gay lobby any credit. In fact, responsible people of all parties should shun these strategies and make room for honest debate on this momentous question of changing the fundamental structure of our most important social institution. [The Blaze, 3/24/12]

In Fact, GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project Is The Opposite Of Censorship

GLAAD’s CAP Meant To “Shine A Big, Bright Light” On Anti-Gay Views. In a guest column for Mediaite, GLAAD’s Director of News and Field Media Aaron McQuade wrote:

GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project is designed to shine a big, bright light on the extreme views of the vast majority of prominent anti-LGBT talkers. Bizarre allusions to Nazi Germany. Frequent accusations of satanic influence. Apocalyptic predictions for a world in which LGBT citizens are treated equally. Vile claims that the AIDS epidemic is God’s judgment. Dehumanizing comparisons of loving same-sex relationships to crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, or “jumping off a 10-story building.”

The truth is, many newsrooms don’t actually know the extent of the animosity that these anti-LGBT activists hold towards the LGBT community. 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.


Please note here that “accountability” does not necessarily mean keeping these people out of the media. But if a reporter is interviewing someone who insinuates that his or her political opponent is controlled by the devil, it’s the reporter’s journalistic responsibility to put that person’s opinion in perspective.

The Commentator Accountability Project contains facts that every journalist who covers LGBT issues should be familiar with, but usually is not. It’s the responsibility of journalists to inform their audiences about an issue. But it is also journalists’ responsibility to fully inform themselves about the people they’re calling on to provide opposition to the LGBT community, and to relay that information to their readers, listeners, or viewers. [Mediaite, 3/14/12, emphasis added]

GLAAD’s McQuade: “We’re Not Telling The Media Who To Talk To And Who Not To Talk To.” In a March 14 GLAAD blog post, McQuade wrote:

While Matt [Barber] and others would love to claim that we are trying to "silence" them, what we're actually doing is almost the exact opposite. This project is aimed at taking Matt's own words, and making the journalists and reporters who go to him for quotes about LGBT issues aware of the animus at the root of his positions. Like the fact that he routinely uses words like "purveyors of evil" or "satanic" to refer to his political opponents. Or the fact that he says Ellen DeGeneres "guides her many adoring housewife fans into rebellion against God's divine and explicit natural order."

If the mere awareness of your views results in you being "silenced" by the media, then sorry but that's on you, Matt.

We're not telling the media who to talk to and who not to talk to. We're giving them critical context for the people they're already booking. What they do with that information is up to them. But as it stands right now, most mainstream media audiences simply aren't getting the full story behind the voices that oppose the LGBT community, or the cultural context in which that opposition needs to be taken.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of speech. Matt Barber has every right to claim that his opponents are satanic. And our community has every right to let the media know about this speech if they’re planning to give his and other anti-LGBT voices a platform. [GLAAD blog, 3/14/22]

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