The liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America has announced that it will launch Equality Matters, a “communications war room for gay equality” to be run by Richard Socarides, to focus on what backers believe is the “movement’s next and biggest battle,” marriage equality.
Media Matters announced the launch of Equality Matters on Sunday in the wake of the historic victory in the Senate, which voted to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
According to The New York Times, Equality Matters will aim to retaliate quickly against homophobic media messages and keep the pressure on elected officials as the climate for gay rights progress is expected to worsen in 2011 with a Republican-led House and a decreased Democratic majority in the Senate.
The group will be led by Richard Socarides, a former LGBT adviser to President Bill Clinton. Kerry Eleveld, the Washington correspondent for The Advocate, will leave the magazine in January to edit the group’s website, EqualityMatters.org. The site goes live Monday.
Media Matters was founded by David Brock.
“Mr. Brock, a former conservative journalist who is gay — and who broke with the right in the 1990s — has lately been expanding the Media Matters organization,” the Times reports. “He said in an interview that he had raised $23 million in the last year for the group, which has an operating budget of $13 million. His backers include George Soros, the liberal donor; the Hollywood producer Steve Bing; and gay philanthropists like James Hormel, an ambassador to Luxembourg under Mr. Clinton.”
Brock explained the rationale behind Equality Matters to the Times.
“We know that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will be a news hook,” he said. “But we believe the big battle is full equality, which is gay marriage."