Sheep and gays

In an interview about gay marriage last spring, Bob Beauprez’s newly minted running mate Janet Rowland said, “For some people, the alternative lifestyle is bestiality…-do we allow a man to marry a sheep? I mean, at some point, you have to draw a line”

In describing Rowland’s quote and other portions of the interview, the Rocky Mountain News reported (Aug. 15) that Rowland was “comparing” homosexuality to bestiality.

I heard Dan Caplis on KHOW trying to explain that, really, Rowland wasn’t “comparing” homosexuality to bestiality.

Is “compare” a fair characterization for a journalist to use, or was Rowland simply listing sexual acts that she considers beyond the pale?

She was definitely comparing bestiality and homosexuality.

After all, Rowland implied that homosexuality is heading down a slippery slope to bestiality and other nasty stuff, and though she was not “equating” the two, she was comparing them…-as in homosexuality is closer to bestiality than heterosexuality.

To avoid controversies about whether a characterization is fair, journalists should avoid them, whenever possible.

But often journalists must summarize a quotation, due to space or time considerations. Rowland’s quote was accurately characterized by the News.

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