Socarides And Eleveld Leave Equality Matters. Is It About To Go Kaput?

On December 23, 2010 the liberal media watchdog group known as Media Matters launched Equality Matters, a web-based organization dedicated to “exposing right-wing bigotry and homophobia” and “stiffening the spines of progressives.” Now, less than a year after its founding, the organization’s two key members—Clinton advisor Richard Socarides and award-winning journalist Kerry Eleveld—have simultaneously decided to leave at the end of the year. Is something wrong with their spines or is Equality Matters circling the drain?

Socarides plans on practicing law and LGBT advocacy in New York and Eleveld plans on writing a book about contemporary LGBT history. But with their departure Washington Blade writer Phil Reese says the group “appears nearly defunct” and “has lost most of its staff and is down to one dedicated employee, Carlos Maza.”

Yet, Equality Matters has still stayed relevant over its freshman year with a regularly updated blog, the recent revelation that Chick-Fil-A is still donating cash to anti-LGBT groups and a recent study showing that FOX ignores positive LGBT news.

But the real question is whether the group will continue to provide the same sorts of cultural analysis and political criticism that it did under Socarides and Eleveld. If so, Equality Matters will remain a relevant and important part of online LGBT activism. If it cannot, it will merely repeat the missions of GLAAD and other right-wing watchdog sites without providing anything new.

With the 2012 Elections quickly approaching, Media Matters doesn’t have long to decide whether to revitalize Equality Matters or let it die off.

Image via pspauld