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Savage Takes On-Air Swipe at CNN

Savage Takes On-Air Swipe at CNN

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Dan Savage, columnist and founder of the It Gets Better project, appeared on CNN to discuss recent hate crime news Tuesday afternoon, and he took the opportunity to challenge CNN and other networks for giving antigay voices a platform.

According to Media Matters, which provided the transcript below, Savage spoke with Kyra Phillips of CNN Newsroom about new reports including one that shows LGBT people are far more likely to be victimized by hate crimes. Savage called out the media for giving voice to antigay leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled as a hate group.

PHILLIPS: You know, it's difficult to say what would be a solution [to anti-gay hate crimes]. But, could we start with more hate crimes legislation where bullies are prosecuted more severely?

SAVAGE: We can start with that, we can also start with... really, we need a cultural reckoning around gay and lesbian issues. There was once two sides to the race debate. There was once a side, you could go on television and argue for segregation, you could argue against interracial marriage, against the Civil Rights Act, against extending voting rights to African Americans and that used to be treated as one side, you know, one legitimate side of a pressing national debate and it isn't anymore. And we really need to reach that point with gay and lesbian issues. There are no 'two sides' to the issues about gay and lesbian rights.

And right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on networks like CNN and then that really -- we really have to start there. We have to start with that type of cultural reckoning.

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