What does the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have to do with a telecom mega-merger? Not much – which is why GLAAD is in such hot water. The organization lent its support to a deal between AT&T and T-Mobile after the group banked a $50,000 donation from AT&T, giving the appearance the group was involved in “influence-peddling.” Politico followed the story and reported, “Many gay activists say the wireless deal wasn’t an issue that GLAAD and other organizations should have been supporting.” The controversy has now forced GLAAD’s President, Jarrett Barrios, to resign.
Jarrett Barrios, as you recall, was a state Senator from Cambridge during the Marriage Amendment debate here in Massachusetts and a leader in the efforts to keep it off the ballot. The Democrat submitted his resignation as president of GLAAD on Saturday after Politico reported about the donation questions. He left the Massachusetts Senate in May 2007 to become president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, before leaving that job to lead GLAAD in September 2009. Barrios married his partner Doug Hattaway following the SJC decision, but announced last year that the couple was divorcing.