A tale of two opinion pages: The Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 10 Nov 2009 at 2:24pm

Kudos to the editorial board at The Star-Telegram of Fort Worth. Twice in the last three weeks, The S-T has published editorials taking strong stances in support of LGBT equality. First, on Oct. 22, The S-T published an editorial under the headline “Boot ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ honor all who want to serve.” In the editorial, The S-T managed to outdo even some so-called gay-rights activists in demanding that President Barack Obama fulfill his campaign promise by ending the discriminatory policy.

“Procrastination must come to an end. It is right that the president consult with his military leaders, but if he is serious about fulfilling his campaign promise and doing the right thing, he should be pressuring Congress on this issue even as he pushes on others on which he has called for change.

“‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is a bad law, and every day it is allowed to stand is another day injustice prevails.”

Then, just today, The S-T editorialized in favor of adding gender identity/expression to the city of Fort Worth’s nondiscrimination ordinance, a proposal that’s expected to be voted on tonight by the City Council. The editorial noted that the proposal faces strong opposition from religious conservatives.

“Controversial as the new protections may be, they are another step in the fight against acts that make people suffer because they are out of the current mainstream. There are people in Fort Worth who would treat those of a different race or religion as inferior, who even would treat women as such. But in general, U.S. society has moved beyond those particular types of bigotry.

“So it should be for transgender and gender expression and identity. No one should be denied a job, access to public accommodations or housing based on these behaviors. The council should approve the amendments.”

Twenty years from now, assuming it’s still around, The S-T will be able to look back with pride at editorials like these and say that the newspaper’s editorial board was on the right side of history. Sadly, I’m afraid The Dallas Morning News — whose opinion pages remain largely silent on LGBT issues, aside from the endless right-wing drivel of columnist Rod Dreher — won’t be able to say the same thing.

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