Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Voice for Equality: Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite, who pioneered and then mastered the role of television news anchorman with such plain-spoken grace that he was called the most trusted man in America, was a nightly presence in American homes from 1962 to 1981. He guided viewers through national triumphs and tragedies alike, from moonwalks to war, in an era when network news was central to many people’s lives. He became something of a national institution, with an unflappable delivery, a distinctively avuncular voice and a daily benediction: “And that’s the way it is.”

Along with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC, Mr. Cronkite was among the first celebrity anchormen. In 1995, 14 years after he retired from the CBS Evening News, a TV Guide poll ranked him No. 1 in seven of eight categories for measuring television journalists. He was so widely known that in Sweden anchormen were once called "Cronkiters." Learn more here.

Cronkite, who died on July 17, 2009 at the age of 92, was an advocate for the separation of church and state, and in this capacity he came out squarely against the Defense of Marriage Act and for the right of gay Americans to marry. In a newspaper column he wrote for King Features Syndicate in 2003, when he was 86, Walter Cronkite wrote:
Conservatives, particularly those of the Christian right, are determined that marriage equality must be banned by federal law, even perhaps by amendments to our Constitution.
Massachusetts had just become the first state to legalize marriage equality.

It certainly is the right of those who oppose the freedom to marry to defend, express and even propagandize their beliefs, but is it their right to impose their definition of morality on those who hold opposing views? The answer is a resounding 'no' from the large chorus of those who believe that our individual rights are precious and should not be trampled upon by even those of deep religious convictions, including those in their own churches.

Freedom to Marry salutes "the most trusted man in America," Walter Cronkite, as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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