Josh Marshall has the story:
The United Church of Christ (UCC) plans to run a major ad campaign in December to raise public awareness of the denomination. One of the ads is meant, in the words of a UCC press release, to convey the message "that -- like Jesus -- the United Church of Christ seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation."
You can see the ad here -- it features two burly bouncers turning various people away from a church service. And if you watch it you'll see that the broad message of inclusion over intolerance places a prominent emphasis on acceptance of homosexuals in the life of the church.
Yet, according to a press release out this evening from the UCC, both CBS and NBC have refused to air the ad because the subject matter is "too controversial."
Again, look at the ad because the spot raises the topic in about as innocuous and uncontroversial a way as is imaginable. Homosexuality is never even broached explicitly.
According to the UCC press release, CBS explained its decision, in part, as follows ...
"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations," reads an explanation from CBS, "and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune have since picked up this story.
To really appreciate the absurdity of this, you have to see the ad. Here is direct link: www.stillspeaking.com. Note that there is no mention of homosexuality. It is merely implied and even that is subtle.
As Josh points out, perhaps most bizarre in this story is the press release from CBS that advises that since the "Executive Branch" has proposed a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage any ad that might suggest inclusion of the disfavored group is verboten? WTF?
Am I the only one thinking of Germany in the mid 1930's.