Karen got it exactly right. My bosses had no problem at all with me getting married. Hell, they attended the wedding and had a great time. I could have kept covering Prop 8 had I not let the paper do the story — or more specifically, participated actively in it –just as any straight reporter who got married could have kept covering the issue. But it was the speaking out part that mattered. If a straight reporter makes public his or her views on gay marriage, that Scotches their ability to cover it and still be taken seriously. In fact, I’m sure there are several straight and privately bigoted reporters who covered Prop 8 and did a good job. (I am not referring to anyone in specific; just assuming.) A good reporter strives for fairness and, usually, relishes the challenge of intellectually grasping and then explaining a point of view foreign to them.
(By the way, in her intro, Karen forgets that we worked together long before the tragic Sarah Chavez story. She was a source for a story on the Supes violating the Brown Act. The main source, in fact.)
While I have this opportunity … may I make two points?
– I think more should be made about the banality of gay life. Julian and I had dessert at Jan+Astro Friday night. We went to The Comptons last night to visit his dad and grandma and were home by 10p. I did landscaping today — digging fencepoles, not planting dahlias. Played with the dogs. 99% of gays do not wear assless chaps (God bless the 1% who do) and have far less insanely hot sex than the straight world (feverishly) imagines. This would make a good anti-Prop 8 commercial. “Ho hum. See Brad and Bob. See Brad and Bob argue about the credit card bill. See Bob fail to put the cap on the toothpaste. See Brad drive his Taurus to work. See Bob fall asleep in front of the TV. Welcome to gay life. Yep, we’re just like you … except for the gonads. (Paid for by the committee to make sure we call the Labor Fed this time to use their phone bank.)”
– I love that the Federal judge asked the Prop 8-ers exactly how gay marriage affects straight marriage. And that he’s going to make them disclose all communications about Prop 8. I am hoping for a replay of the Pennsylvania evolution/creation case, in which the plaintiffs claimed Religion had nothing to do with it, but it turned out it was all about the Bible. AG Jerry Brown laid the groundwork for this in his argument to the Ca Supreme Ct, IMHO, when he said you can’t take away rights without justification. Hysteria may be understandable and very human — and I mean this sincerely — but it ain’t the basis for good law.
And while his love life is his business – when it comes to snuggling with women who then pretend to report on him “objectively” – it’s a breach of ethics.
So, too, if John simply wanted to get married and NOT have the Pasadena Star news cover his wedding – he could probably have continued reporting on Prop 8. But once he becomes part of the story, he needs to take himself out of it.
I know, I know – both straight women reporters could say – Hey, I’m a professional and I will cover Antonio without fear or favor – just like John could about Prop 8 – but then it’s the APPEARANCE of a conflict of interest and to maintain credibility for the reporter and the news organization, it’s best to bow out.
But yes, sometimes it does entail personal “sacrifice.”
Thanks for you note.]]>
It’s a matter of heterosexual privilege that straight married journalists never have to speak out in favor of the rights and responsibilities they have as married people. They can value the privileges and protections of marriage at a deep, personal level, believing that the status quo embodied in law and social custom is a wonderful thing. That doesn’t disqualify them from covering high profile weddings, divorces, or proposed changes in family law or tax codes.]]>