GLAAD Stops Supporting AT&T Merger with T-Mobile

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Last month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation got in a lot of trouble when they backed a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, after their full relationship with Ma Bell was exposed. GLAAD had received $50,000 from AT&T in donations and had a former AT&T executive and lobbyist on its board. The organization sent out a letter opposing net-neutrality before attempting to withdraw that letter.

In the aftermath, GLAAD's Executive Director and multiple board members resigned. Now, GLAAD has flipped on net-neutrality again, releasing a statement supporting an open internet, as well as declaring a neutral position on the AT&T deal.

According to a press release yesterday:

(GLAAD) today submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to withdraw its support for the pending AT&T merger with T-Mobile and to return the organization to a neutral position with respect to the deal. GLAAD also submitted to the FCC, in the same letter, a statement strongly supporting the tenets of net neutrality.
Also in the release, from GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson:
"GLAAD is a strong supporter of the general principle of net neutrality. Although this letter is not specific to any proposed or existing regulatory or legislative standards, we acknowledge that net neutrality is one of the principles most responsible for the Internet's emergence as the dominant platform for free expression. A nondiscriminatory and neutral Internet has allowed new digital media initiatives and the blogosphere itself to flourish online. Net neutrality has cultivated the plethora of online resources available to otherwise isolated LGBT Americans seeking help with coming out, coping with and countering discrimination, suicide and HIV/AIDS prevention resources, community building and political organizing tools, and general self-expression. GLAAD's own work has been effective thanks in large part to net neutrality."

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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