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GLAAD CEO on Net Neutrality: Internet ‘Greatest Gift’ to LGBTQ Community

Sarah Ellis

“Life-saving opportunities happen online.”

Losing net neutrality would deal a blow to minority communities, particularly LGBTQ web users, who depend on a free, impartial Internet to stay connected.

That's what GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Buzzfeed News's "AM to DM" Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission was voting on whether to repeal net neutrality rules that require Internet providers to treat all content equally.

"Life-saving opportunities happen online," Ellis said. "One of the greatest gifts that our community has been given is the Internet because we didn't have to come out publicly and risk our whole lives. We could come out where it was comfortable."

FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, in her dissent to revoking net neutrality, also focused on how marginalized communities will be affected if the rules do not stay in place.

"It has been through secure messaging platforms where activists have communicated and organized for justice without gatekeepers, who may or may not have differing opinions, blocking them," Clyburn said.

Ellis implored queer people to take a stand on this issue. "We cannot become complacent. We've gotten through this year through fighting and through raising our voices and using our platforms and our profiles to elevate the conversation, and we cannot let up on that in 2018."

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