GLAAD president resigns over his support for AT&T

By David Edwards
Monday, June 20, 2011 12:30 EDT
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The president of a leading LGBT rights group has resigned over his controversial support of AT&T’s corporate objectives.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president Jarrett Barrios offered the board his resignation Saturday, according to Politico.

Barrios had sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile. The telecommunications giant underwrites the GLAAD awards and recently had given the organization $50,000.

“We write to you as leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities who have come together to urge support for the AT&T-T-Mobile merger,” Barrios wrote.

The GLAAD president also admitted that his office sent a letter to the FCC opposing net neutrality, but claimed it had been a mistake.

“The letter’s origins lay with AT&T; the telecom giant sent Barrios suggested wording for another letter to the FCC,” The Bilerico Project’s Bil Browning explained. “Barrios’ special assistant used the language verbatim to create the letter, signed his name to it, and sent it in.”

Leading gay rights activists Mike Rogers, Pam Spaulding and Michelangelo Signorile, who all called for Barrios to step down, say that more heads should roll at GLAAD. The three would like to see board member Troup Coronado resign next. Coronado was a lobbyist for AT&T.

“The moment I learned that GLAAD board member (former Orrin Hatch staffer and AT&T lobbyist) Troup Coronado was involved in this mess, I knew it would end in a disaster for GLAAD,” Rogers wrote. “If Coronado loves GLAAD he needs to go immediately.”

“It is indeed a sad day since I know Jarrett has paid his dues in the movement, but he and Coronado (and perhaps more) need to tender their resignations,” a statement from Spaulding said.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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