Last night, we posted the news that Media Matters was setting up a new entity, Equality Matters, which will be headed by Richard Socarides and Kerry Eleveld. In a post on the organization’s blog, Socarides explains the group’s mission:
Our culture is changing rapidly. Most Americans believe that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as their fellow citizens, including now over 50 percent who believe in marriage equality.
We see other signs of progress too. For example, Ricky Martin, one of the biggest pop music stars of all time and Ken Mehlman, a former Republican Party chair turned Wall Street banker, felt comfortable enough to publicly proclaim their sexuality. Now, the gay high school kid on Fox’s Glee has a great, show-stealing boyfriend. A New Jersey teenager’s suicide gave new poignancy to a PSA campaign in which Americans from all walks of life, famous and not, spoke openly and candidly in record numbers about what it means to be gay and how “it gets better” – thanks to activist and writer Dan Savage.
In Washington, however, we have missed opportunities and have not so far been able to transform favorable public opinion into the powerful and undeniable force for change that it should have been. We believe that the moment for decisive action for full gay equality is here — that this moment is a historic imperative. The goal of Equality Matters is to leverage our expertise in media and communications, and politics and policy, to support those who share that belief and help create an environment where policymakers, the courts, the media and the public at large understand that gay rights are human rights.
Despite the important victory we have just witnessed, make no mistake about it: we are still the only class of Americans for whom discrimination is codified into state and federal law. We have a lot of work to do.
They intend to hold everyone accountable. That’s a welcome and needed change.