God’s Authority! A Frame Analysis of Kim Davis’ Refusal to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

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Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference

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Minneapolis, MN


This study conducted a framing analysis of media discourse on the refusal of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriages. Analysis of articles published on the websites of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News showed that religion and values emerged as dominant frames. Davis and her decision to deny licenses were portrayed as her religious right whereas homosexuals and their rights were underrepresented. Analysis also showed that the media present a religious controversy in conjunction with political issues. This study suggests that in spite of the recognition of legal rights of homosexuals, the media still do not provide equal coverage to homosexuals at least in situations where there is another potential opposition. The study recommends that journalists should give more attention to homosexuals and not politicize religious issues.


Journalism and Mass Communications

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