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John Aravosis

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John Aravosis (born 27 November, 1963) is an American Democratic political consultant, writer, LGBT activist and blogger. Aravosis, an attorney who lives in Washington, D.C., is the founder of AMERICAblog and a co-founder of

Aravosis is a lawyer and worked on Capitol Hill as a foreign policy advisor 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 in 2004. He has also written as a stringer for the Economist and RADAR. He has a joint law degree and masters in foreign service from Georgetown, where he studied under former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Activism Edit

In 1998, Aravosis defended U.S. sailor Timothy R. McVeigh who was being kicked out of the military because he was gay after he was outed by America Online. 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.[1] 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 reportedly large settlement with AOL.[2]

In 2000, Aravosis and a small group of friends launched, the first-ever successful boycott of a TV show.[3]Template:Who 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,[4] and routinely denigrated women and the right to choose to have an abortion.[5][6][7][8]

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 while the campaign was making a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, one of its priorities.[citation needed][9] Aravosis' website,, was immediately profiled in Newsweek and the Washington Post, and his image of Mary on a milk carton "Have you seen me?" was reproduced widely.[10] Up until the launch of Dear Mary, the mainstream media largely refused to note that the vice president had an openly gay daughter, though after the campaign, Mary's lesbianism became widely known.[citation needed]

The next year, Aravosis outed Jeff Gannon as "a conservative operative and as an alleged male prostitute" while Gannon (real name James Guckert) was working as a White House reporter for the Talon News.[11] He became engaged in a fight with a socially conservative seniors group USA Next over copyright violations in a highly controversial web advertisement that appeared to link gay marriage and anti-military stances to opposition Republican plans to change Social Security.[citation needed] USA Next failed to secure copyright for the picture it used in the web ad.

That same year, he took on Microsoft and Bill Gates for their embrace of anti-gay bigotry. 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.[12] Aravosis launched a campaign to highlight Microsoft's change of heart, and after a month of nationwide bad publicity, Microsoft recommitted itself to the civil rights battle.[citation needed]

Also in 2005, 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.[13] 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.[14] Aravosis launched a campaign on his blog to get Ford to recommit itself to the gay market, even though Volvo pulled advertisements, Ford never left the gay market. [15]

Aravosis also started hosting his own Internet television show, DemsTV. As of February 2006, DemsTV became PoliticsTV, restructured its programming, and added many specials.[16]


  1. Wired Strategies - Master Chief Timothy R. McVeigh
  2. McVeigh
  4. [1]
  5. AlterNet: Stopping Dr. Laura
  6. E! News - GLAAD Not Happy with Dr. Laura
  7. Adubato, Steve PhD (2000-03-16). "Dr. Laura is Dangerous ". Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  8. Schlessinger, Laura (1999-04-19). "Legal abortion not the salvation that feminists claim", Jewish World Review. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  9. Sean Bugg. "Hailing Mary: Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter becomes target in gay marriage debate", Metro Weekly, 26 February 2004. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 
  10. Wolfe, Elizabeth (2004-02-19). "Mary Cheney's View on Gay Marriage Sought ". Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  11. Mary Ann Akers, Roll Call, April 5, 2005.
  12. Kaushik, Sandeep (April 2005). "Microsoft Caves on Gay Rights". The Stranger. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  13. Sean Bugg. "Roll Over: Ford puts itself at the center of the latest battle over gays and corporate America", Metro Weekly, 8 December 2005. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 
  14. CNN (2005-12-06). "Ford can't please anybody". Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  15. Daily Kos: Ford makes the right decision
  16. Gupta, Shankar (2006-03-07). "Left-Wing Debuts Online". Online Media Daily. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.

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