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5 Historic Omissions in ABC's LGBT Miniseries 'When We Rise'

5 Historic Omissions in ABC's LGBT Miniseries 'When We Rise'

1. Divisions within the LGBT movement's opposition 

Former U.S. President George W. Bush speaks at the dedication of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2016. | (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

At the start of Part I and again near the end of Part III, a montage is shown depicting the various adversaries of gay rights, lumping together figures like former President George W. Bush, the Westboro Baptist Church [which is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination], and the men who murdered Matthew Shepard.

This blurring of the opposition ignores key points of difference. For example, the United Methodist Church is a denomination whose official position is that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Despite this, the images of Westboro Baptist protesters in the montage show a member holding a sign that attacks the UMC as allegedly being pro-gay.

Lumping Bush in with Westboro Baptist members and the men who murdered Shepard disregards the moderately conservative position he held during his political career, or what a 2013 column published by The Atlantic dubbed "Bush's Forgotten Gay-Rights History."

"Bush also endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples, along with a state-based rather than federal approach permitting such, as an incumbent president running for reelection in 2004. He did so in defiance of his party, which opposed civil unions in its platform," read the piece.

The miniseries does have the occasional sympathetic minor character who opposes homosexuality and does not appear to recant their views. However, public figures were not part of this list. 

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