Is there an anti-gay double standard at CBS?

Change.org is sounding the call for folks to contact CBS and urge them to pull an ad from Focus on the Family. The controversial anti-choice ad is slated to run during the Super Bowl.

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Change.org’s Gay Rights blogger Michael Jones reports that CBS rejected an LGBT-inclusive United Church of Christ ad five years ago because they deemed it too controversial. He says CBS is engaging in a dangerous double-standard and wants folks to sign a letter expressing their disapproval to CBS.

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Here’s that letter:

Five years ago, CBS rejected an advertisement from the United Church of Christ (UCC) that said churches should be a place of inclusion, regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation. At the time, CBS deemed the advertisement too controversial, telling the UCC that the network had a “longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising.”

Yet, just a few years later, CBS has cleared an advertisement by Focus on the Family — to be run during the Super Bowl, one of the highest rated television programs of the entire year. Focus on the Family has a reputation as one of the most anti-LGBT organizations in the country, routinely going on the record to call gay marriage perverted, say that homosexuals are a threat to civilization, and that homosexuality can be repaired. Moreover, the founder of Focus on the Family has previously said that sex education strips girls of their modesty.

On top of that, the Focus on the Family advertisement that CBS plans to air during the Super Bowl will take a hard-line position on abortion. How is a history of anti-LGBT statements, coupled with an ad that will take a conservative position on abortion, not controversial?

It seems like there is a serious double standard at play here. On one hand CBS is telling the UCC that it’s “too controversial” to talk about a church free of discrimination, and on the other hand saying that it’s perfectly acceptable for an organization with a history of violent language toward gays and lesbians to take controversial positions on social issues.

I urge you to reject Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl advertisement, holding this organization to the same standard you held the United Church of Christ to five years ago. Beyond that, if you choose to continue with the Focus on the Family ad, I urge you to offer the United Church of Christ another opportunity to air their advertisement on your network.

Read more from Jones here, and take action by signing the letter here.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.