Five years ago, television network CBS rejected as too controversial an advertisement from the United Church of Christ (UCC) that suggested churches should be places free from discrimination, including discrimination based on age, gender, race, and sexual orientation. At the time, CBS told the UCC that the network had "a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising."
Fast forward five years, and now CBS is prepared to run an advertisement during the Super Bowl -- the largest watched television program in the entire country -- from vehemently anti-LGBT organization Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family has a long history of spouting anti-LGBT beliefs, from calling gay marriage perverted, to saying that homosexuals were a threat to civilization, to telling girls that sex education strips them of their modesty. On top of that, the advertisement that Focus on the Family plans to run during the Super Bowl will take an anti-choice viewpoint.
A history of anti-LGBT actions, coupled with tackling an issue like abortion -- and CBS doesn't think that counts as controversial?
Tell CBS that they should reconsider their decision to run the Focus on the Family advertisement, or offer the UCC another chance to air their advertisement. Anything less sends the message that LGBT-friendly churches are controversial, while religious organizations that demonize LGBT people and women's rights are considered perfectly acceptable.
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.