Monday, March 9, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Angry Gay Men, Sad Lesbians: Deconstructing Media Images of the Same-Gender Marriage Controversy as Prop 8 Goes Before the Court

It's fascinating to look how we're being portrayed in the most prominent photos accompanying the news articles on Prop 8 going before the California Supreme Court this past Friday.

What do these images say about media biases?

What do they say about how good a job we are doing as a community in being heard?

Take a look at these photos below (click on them to go to the on-line article they came from) and see what you think:

Angry Same-Gender Marriage Supporter, from the Los Angeles Times

Angry Same-Gender Marriage Supporter, from the Wall Street Journal

Sad/Hopeful Lesbians from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Hopeful Same-Gender Marriage Supporters, From The Orange County Register:

Earnest Defense: Here's one from the Sacramento Bee of an angry anti-gay marriage protester, which shows a more nuanced response from a pro-gay marriage supporter:

And The New York Times' photo lets you focus on whichever side of the issue you're on:

My eye goes right to the gay couple in the foreground, one with his arm around the other, holding up the "Love will Conquer H8" sign , but I bet that people who DON'T want Gays to have the right to marry focus on the woman and man on either side of the male couple who carry "traditional" marriage signs.

Take a look at YOUR local news coverage of Prop 8 being debated in front of the California Supreme Court. What does it say about the biases of the media where YOU live?

What images really speak to you?

For me, the image that spoke the MOST was this one, from The Seattle Times (It was also used on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer):

What do you think?




Hayden Thorne said...

To be honest with you, I choose not to watch TV or read the papers when it comes to this issue as they're always bad for my blood pressure. I prefer to read updates emailed to me by different progressive grassroots organizations I support.

Looking at the pictures, though, makes me wonder.

What about straight supporters of gay marriage? Have there been pictures posted of them (us)? Or is the media selectively focusing on gays and lesbians vs. supporters of the gay marriage ban?

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

whoa! i never noticed that before. Trust me I will look with a keener eye now. how biased can our news be?

Graeme Stone said...

Oh the media and the "edit" of the frame. One of the best classes I ever took was a college-level Critical Reading class in my senior year of high school. It covered just this very thing. Fascinating, frustrating, and daunting. I would like to see some pictures of whole families, children with gay parents, to see how it changes the picture.