November 27, 1963 |
|Occupation||lawyer, activist, blogger|
John Aravosis (born November 27, 1963) is an American Democratic political consultant, writer, gay activist and blogger. Aravosis, an attorney who lives in Washington, D.C., is the founder of AMERICAblog and a co-founder of StopDrLaura.com.
Aravosis is a lawyer and worked on Capitol Hill as a foreign policy adviser for Ted Stevens, a Republican senator in the late 1980s and early 1990s before becoming a Democrat. He subsequently worked at the World Bank, the Children's Defense Fund, and then started his own political Internet consulting business in 1997 and AMERICAblog, a liberal news blog dealing in politics (because, according to its masthead, "a great nation deserves the truth"), in 2004. He has also written as a stringer for The Economist and Radar. He has a joint law degree and master's degree in foreign service from Georgetown, where he studied under former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In 1998, Aravosis defended U.S. sailor Timothy R. McVeigh (not to be confused with the terrorist Timothy McVeigh), who was being kicked out of the military because he had engaged in homosexual activity. Nine days before McVeigh was to be discharged, Aravosis came to his defense and launched an online campaign that got McVeigh and his case on ABC News' World News Tonight, Time, Newsweek and beyond. The publicity Aravosis generated for McVeigh in this pro bono campaign got a lawyer interested in helping the sailor, and he won his case against the military and was able to get an honorable discharge and a reportedly large settlement from AOL.
In 2000, Aravosis and a small group of friends launched StopDrLaura.com, the first-ever successful boycott of a TV show. StopDrLaura, a one-year long pro bono campaign, got 170 of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's television advertisers to pull their endorsements after Dr. Laura called gays and lesbians "biological errors", compared gay men to pedophiles, and routinely denigrated women and abortion.
Aravosis launched a campaign against vice presidential daughter Mary Cheney in 2004 for accepting a US$100,000 a year job running the vice president's re-election campaign. Aravosis' website, dearmary.com, was immediately profiled in Newsweek and the Washington Post, and his image of Mary on a milk carton, with the caption "Have you seen me?", was reproduced widely.
In response to complaints from the religious groups, Microsoft pulled its support for a Washington state gay rights bill and then said it was rethinking its support for civil rights nationwide. Aravosis launched a campaign to highlight Microsoft's change of heart.
Aravosis took on the Ford Motor Company when, in response to a boycott from a conservative organization, Ford was pulling its support for gay advertising and gay organizations. Ford maintained that it was re-structuring its advertising for business reasons unrelated to any social agenda, and, indeed, Ford continued to buy advertising space in gay media for its Volvo division. Aravosis launched a campaign on his blog to get Ford to recommit itself to the gay market. Even though Volvo eventually pulled its advertisements, Ford never left the gay market.
- Quoted in The Advocate 2009.
- John Aravosis bio at Wired Strategies
- The Advocate (June 8, 2009). "The Top 15 Gay(ish) Blogs". Retrieved June 18, 2009.
- Wired Strategies - Master Chief Timothy R. McVeigh
- News & Politics
- AlterNet: Stopping Dr. Laura
- E! News - GLAAD Not Happy with Dr. Laura
- Adubato, Steve PhD (March 16, 2000). "Dr. Laura is Dangerous ". Caucusnj.org. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
- Schlessinger, Laura (April 19, 1999). "Legal abortion not the salvation that feminists claim", Jewish World Review. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
- Sean Bugg (February 26, 2004). "Hailing Mary: Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter becomes target in gay marriage debate". Metro Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
- Wolfe, Elizabeth (February 19, 2004). "Mary Cheney's View on Gay Marriage Sought ". Washington Post. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
- Mary Ann Akers, Roll Call, April 5, 2005.
- Kaushik, Sandeep (April 2005). "Microsoft Caves on Gay Rights". The Stranger. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
- Sean Bugg (December 8, 2005). "Roll Over: Ford puts itself at the center of the latest battle over gays and corporate America". Metro Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
- CNN (December 6, 2005). "Ford can't please anybody". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
- "Ford makes the right decision". Daily Kos. December 14, 2005.
- Gupta, Shankar (March 7, 2006). "Left-Wing PoliticsTV.com Debuts Online". Online Media Daily. Retrieved December 10, 2007.