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Hatewatch Supports Protest Of Paramount, Dr. Laura

HateWatch.org, a web-based educational resource and non-profit organization that combats the growing and evolving threat of online bigotry says that Paramount should shun the anti-gay "bigotry" of Dr. Laura Schlessinger and has come out in support of the March 21st protest against the anti-gay bigotry of radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, which will be held at the Paramount Television studios.

Dr. Laura has been in negotiations with Paramount Studios for a syndicated talk show to bring her message of intolerance to television screens across America. As of March 16, 2000, Dr. Laura's planned show has been sold to almost 91% of the television affiliates in the United States. Hatewatch notes that the new daytime program would bring her acerbic criticisms and bigoted remarks to an even wider audience. David Goldman, executive director of HateWatch, has stated that "she has made extremely offensive and bigoted statements about gays and lesbians. We are in no way trying to prevent her from exercising her freedoms, but we believe that people should know what she is saying and respond accordingly."

The attention being paid to Dr. Laura is due to such hateful remarks as her saying that gays are more prone to pedophilia, and her designation of gays and lesbians as "biological errors" and "deviants." In spite of these comments, Paramount Television has offered her a nationally televised show. To stem the growing controversy, Dr. Laura offered a "clarification" in which she stated she did not "intend to hurt anyone or contribute in any way to an atmosphere of hate or intolerance. Regrettably, some of the words I've used have hurt some people, and I am sorry for that." The problem arises in that Dr. Laura still excuses her hateful words by saying, "...words that I have used in a clinical context (emphasis added) have been perceived as judgment [sic]. They were not meant to characterize homosexual individuals or encourage others to disparage homosexuals."

However, the clinical excuse does not seem to hold water due to the fact that what Dr. Laura states about gays and lesbians has been reputed by virtually every major medical and psychological organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association. It is also worth noting that Dr. Laura is not a physician, psychologist, nor a psychiatrist. Dr. Laura's degree is a doctorate in physiology. HateWatch strongly believes that attacks on gays and lesbians are no less a form of bigotry than racially or religiously motivated intolerance. Dr. Laura and the words she has chosen are extremely troublesome, factually inaccurate and hateful. HateWatch asks Paramount Television to not give her a wider forum to express these, and other bigoted sentiments.

Freedom does not mean that there is an inherent right to have a national television show with major studio backing, nor should one be surprised when civil rights groups rise to the cause of exposing bigoted and insensitive remarks. Statements such as those made by Dr. Laura are bigoted and lead to further intolerance.


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