Most people like gays sayeth the polls; Duquesne University flips off Planned Parenthood

Here's some good news from the Post-Gazette's wonderful L.A. Johnson < is L.A.a man or woman? does it matter other than for my pronoun selection?>

A majority of U.S. citizens support equal treatment for gay people, a recent Harris Interactive poll reports.

About 56 percent of straight Americans 18 and older believe people should be more supportive of gay equality, a number that rises to 60 percent for those polled between the ages of 18 and 44, the survey said.

Hurrah!  The survey also brings to light the value of heterosexual allies, especially those who speak out against incidents of discrimination and homophobia.

“People's minds are changed more … by the person who isn't the minority,” says Betty Hill, executive director of Persad Center (www.persadcenter.org), which offers counseling, education and advocacy for the Pittsburgh-area gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. “When a family member speaks up, it seems to be better listened to than when a regular old gay person like myself speaks up.”

Now see that's exactly why Betty Hill is a lesbian who rocks — “regular old gay person” indeed. 

Anyway, her point is very true.  And it is a point I made oh so eloquently at The Society with regard to my good friend John McIntire, one of the staunchest allies the LGBT community is lucky to have. 

Heteros like John and that guy down the street and the lady at church and my friend Amy make all the difference b/c they normalize homosexuality. 

That being said, I was pleased to have a chance to hang out with my friend Maria when she sat in for Lynn Cullen this morning.  It ties into this little theme very nicely b/c Maria asked me to talk about my *other* blogging gig — the Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society.  Sure, the lesbian flavor came up a time or two, but it was an opportunity to talk about other issues that matter to me.  I'm a multi-dimensional homo!

One thing that was frustrating was our limited ability to talk about some big news — WDUQ- FM will not allow Planned Parenthood to underwrite news segments. Why?  Because Duquesne University pulled the puppet strings of so-called public radio.  Check out Maria's well crafted post on the topic and decide for yourselves — should NPR's flagship station in Pittsburgh have a modicum of free speech or should it be all fetus, all the time? 

Geez oh man.  Anyway, because it was about a rival station and we are supposed to have the courtesy of not talking about other stations, we had to low key it because saying “another local station” without the whole MacDaddy Catholic Church thing was pointless. I hope we were successful and Maria gets to go back. 

I wrote some emails to Scott Hanley and the big kahuna Dr. Doughertry at Duquesne.  I even filed a complaint with the NPR ombudsman.  Do they seriously not realize how much of their local listening audience are liberal do-gooder yuppies who support organizations that promote women's health and try to keep kids from contracting the clap?  Seriously?

Here's something amusing — take a look at the list of local companies that accept the membership Q-card.  Disclaimer or not, the station is willing to promote these folks in exchange for a little love to the members. Let's see who can identity the most companies that have some business practice which violates Catholic principles.  You go first …all I'm gonna do is remind you of the entire Rolling Stones exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum and call it a day.  🙂

All fetus, all the time. I just like the sound of that.

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  • i let my feelings be known to them as well.
    not that it will do much good unless they lose sponsors in a big way. sherry

  • Thanks for the support Sue. We're still hoping they'll change their minds, though it's looking less and less likely. What's really ironic about the whole sordid affair is that most of us who WORK at PPWP were DUQ supporters! (Key word being “were”). Oh, and L.A. is a woman, and she rocks.

  • Yes, Sherry, I think contacting WDUQ's other sponsors is a good tactic. However, I suspect it is going to take some big kahuna Duquesne Alumni-donors to have an impact …
    Jodi, I think a lot of DUQ listeners are also supporters of PPWP which creates an interesting radio dilmena for those of us who don't think the fact that the B is back adds any real diversity to Pittsburgh radio listenin'.

  • Like many people, I had a gut-check reaction, and was apalled that DUQ stopped running the PP spots. I have spent some time thinking about the PP/DUQ issue, and have some thoughts below.
    From what I gather from a couple of DUQ volunteers I know, over the past couple of days DUQ has been hurt by this situation. This is truly unfortunate. Duquesne University is not being hurt financially. DUQ is. One of the disturbing things about Planned Parenthood, an organization I have always had nothing but respect for, is that they are turning this into an issue of journalistic integrity, when it really is not. It is about marketing and accepting financial support, not newsworthiness. I think that people are totally overlooking that. I did when I first heard about the situation, but then I thought about it more.
    If you are an avid DUQ listener, you will probably have heard plenty of news stories and interviews about organizations and individuals who conflict with Catholic values. News can never be censored by Duquesne. Those kind of stories would never have aired if Duquesne could actually step in and censor news. Marketing/donations can be declined, apparently, by a higher-up since Duquesne owns the station. DUQ, in my years of listening, has always been willing to cover controversial issues, both national and local, in a more thoughtful and complete way than commercial broadcasters. I have given my financial support because I appreciate that.
    I wonder if Planned Parenthood would have put DUQ in the same spot if the station would have refused to air their underwriting messages in the first place. I wonder what their reasoning was to make the pulling of financially supported messages into a huge news/PR piece for themselves. If DUQ would have refused to air actual news about PP, I could understand why PP would take such an activist stance, but this was something *they paid for*. It was technically a gift that was refused. I think PP made a poor decision by deciding to take a strike at a much smaller nonprofit. I don't hear DUQ taking any negative strikes at PP on the air. I did hear the news story DUQ put together about the PP/DUQ situation on Friday afternoon. If they put it online on their website, I think it is worth listening to if you haven't heard it. It approaches everything as news, from all sides. I am actually kind of amazed they did that. I'm sure Duquesne wasn't happy about it.
    There is no doubt that Duquesne made a very poor decision in deciding to interfere with DUQ's efforts to raise financial support. Duquesne, itself, should refuse financial support from every healthcare provider in the region if they were to continue their stance. I doubt they will.
    I will be writing to the president of the University, Charles Dougherty (president@duq.edu) to express my dissatisfaction, and still sending my support to DUQ. They are in a tough spot. As upset as I am about the PP spots being pulled because of a higher power. I do not feel that I should punish the station, which does so much good work, because of a decision that was made abouve their heads.
    I hope that others will take a moment to think as well, and possibly contact the higher power that stepped on the station.

  • E-mail released by Duquesne University through University e-mail to students, faculty, and staff, as of 3:50 p.m., 10/16/07:
    To the Campus Community:
    As you have probably heard through recent news stories, the University has
    refused to accept underwriting funding from Planned Parenthood on the
    University-owned radio station WDUQ.
    The underwriting of a program on WDUQ is considered a donation, and the
    University retains the right to refuse donations and underwriting from any
    organization. As you are aware, Duquesne University is a Catholic
    university in mission and identity and the Catholic position on respect
    for life is well known. The University chose not to accept a gift from
    Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in America. Planned
    Parenthood's annual report documents a total of more than a half-million
    abortions performed during the 2004 and 2005 time period. This statistic
    alone clearly demonstrates profound incompatibility with our institution.
    The refusal of an underwriting gift from Planned Parenthood does not
    affect WDUQ’s editorial independence, its news reporting or its
    programming. The refusal is, rather, a rejection of an inappropriate and
    undesired public institutional association.
    Except for enforcement of our Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities,
    and Conduct, Duquesne University does not dictate personal choices to our
    students or other individuals, including individual donors. Personal
    choices, however, are different from an institution’s right and obligation
    to stand up for its own public principles.
    On Behalf of the Duquesne University Administration,
    Bridget Fare
    Spokesperson

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