GLAAD, of course, is in meltdown over its decision to support the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, a move that doesn’t immediately jump to mind as one of the top ten gay priorities of 2011 or any other year for that matter. At the root of it all seems to be board member Troup Coronado, who in an amazing coincidence used to be a lobbyist for AT&T. Even more amazing is who else Coronado used to work for: the Heritage Foundation, the right-wing idea factory with a long history of—you guessed it—anti-gay positions. Not exactly the resume you’d expect for a board member of a gay watchdog group, but then again not something that seems to appear on Coronado’s resume.
In a nice reporting job in the Washington Blade, Phil Reese lays out Coronado’s affiliation with the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s, where Coronado’s primary job seems to have been working on a minority outreach program. Coronado also was affiliated with another organization whose primary goal was to pack the federal judiciary with Bush appointees—you know, the ones who would be weighing in on such small matters as gay marriage. And just to make it the trifecta, Coronado also once worked for Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senator from Utah, who thinks that politics is the religion of gays.
At least four gay organizations have displayed their total lack of knowledge of Google search by having had Coronado serve in high-profile positions: GLAAD, the Equality California Institute, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Human Rights Campaign. (The alternative–that they knew about Coronado’s history and didn’t care–is too appalling to consider.) In another of those cosmic coincidences that seem to dog Coronado, three of the four sent letters to the FCC opposing net neutrality, which happened to be the telecom industry’s position. To its credit, HRC refused to sign onto the idea.
Of course, Coronado has loudly repented his past actions—NOT. Which makes one wonder: if supporting antigay think tanks, right-wing judges and restrictions on freedom of the the web can get you onto the board of a gay organization, what does it take to get you kicked off? Apparently, only a public uproar about gay rights organization’s harboring board members with anti-gay pasts.