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Is Fox News Going Silent on Marriage Equality?

Is Fox News Going Silent on Marriage Equality?


Data from Equality Matters indicates that Fox News is avoiding reporting on same-sex marriage wins.

While there have been great advances in marriage equality over the past year, you wouldn't know that by watching Fox News, notes a new analysis by Equality Matters.

The conservative cable news channel spent just over 10 minutes covering the 13 court rulings in favor of equal marriage rights since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for federal recognition of same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013, according to the report by Equality Matters, a project of Media Matters to combat misinformation about LGBT people. The bulk of that coverage focused on the ruling in Utah, which like several others is on appeal.

New Jersey, where Republican governor Chris Christie chose not to appeal a ruling by that state's Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, was the only other state to get more than a single minute of coverage. New Jersey, combined with three other states where same-sex marriage is now legal as a result of court rulings -- New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania -- for a mere two minutes and 14 seconds of airtime on Fox News. In comparison, CNN clocked in with nearly 16 minutes of coverage, and MSNBC devoted over an hour to the same set of rulings.

Same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in general have traditionally been popular discussion fodder for right-wing media personalities such as those on Fox News, which caters to a conservative and relatively anti-LGBT audience, but it appears that has changed. With the ever-increasing list of marriage equality advancements and the clear shift toward popular acceptance of same-sex marriage and LGBT equality, Fox News's current strategy appears to simply avoid discussing any progress on these issues as much as possible.

Indeed, as Media Matters reported a year ago, Fox News seems to have basically conceded defeat on the marriage issue, and its hosts and commentators are now focusing their anti-LGBT vitriol on trans people and issues. It remains to be seen how Fox News' coverage will evolve in light of the ever-increasing visibility and acceptance of trans people in American society.

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Rebecca Juro