Fox News generally avoids covering stories that signify progress toward LGBT equality — when they aren’t bashing Chaz Bono for being transgender, they largely ignore news events like the certification of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s repeal, its implementation, and the passage of marriage equality in New York. In fact, Fox News mentioned the state’s same-sex marriage law in a few news alerts after it passed, while cable rivals MSNBC and CNN devoted substantially more airtime to the story. But now a story has emerged that has given Fox News a reason to finally give New York marriage a full segment: town clerks refusing to marry same-sex couples.
This afternoon, Fox invited Rose Marie Belforti on the air to discuss her horrible plight. Belforti is the elected town clerk in rural Ledyard, New York who raises religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage certificates. A lesbian couple who did not want to wait days for one of Belforti’s arranged appointments with a deputy is threatening to sue her for discrimination, and the vehemently anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund is defending her. Though many (including Fox News) are calling the situation a “test case,” Belforti is simply abandoning the responsibilities of her job and her civic duty to her community while she uses her religious beliefs as an excuse to treat same-sex couples as second-class citizens. Even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has said clerks should not get to pick and choose which laws they enforce, suggesting, “If you can’t enforce the law, then you shouldn’t be in that position.” Watch the segment:
Of course, Fox News did not scrutinize Belforti’s self-victimization, nor did the network invite the lesbian couple or their counsel, People for the American Way, to offer any sort of retort. It seems that the only way to achieve “fair and balanced” reporting is to only report on LGBT equality when people make news for opposing it.