HRC And GLAAD Call On CBS To Clarify Statements On United Church Of Christ Television Ad

In early December The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation (GLAAD) called on CBS to publicly clarify its
recent refusal to air a paid advertisement from the United Church of
Christ (UCC) highlighting the denomination's acceptance of all people
regardless of race, economic standing and sexual orientation.

In a written statement refusing the ad, CBS told the UCC that the
inclusion of scenes that touch on "the exclusion of gay couples and
other minority groups" by other religious institutions as well as "the
fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional
Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman" meant
that "this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN]
networks."

Both GLAAD and HRC have had conversations with senior executives in CBS'
corporate communications and standards and practices departments and
urged them to clarify this statement publicly. To date, CBS has not
done so.

"By refusing to set the record straight, CBS may be sending a dangerous
message of support to leaders looking to politicize same-sex couples and
their families for personal gain. That is wrong," said HRC Political
Director Winnie Stachelberg. "Allowing misinformation about the failed
Federal Marriage Amendment to taint this discussion is potentially
damaging to many Americans."

"For CBS to base a policy decision on an anti-gay Bush Adminstration
initiative raises serious questions about the network's credibility and
independence," said GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry. "CBS needs
to offer a public clarification and explain why it invoked a
discriminatory piece of legislation as part of its refusal to air the
UCC's ad."

The UCC ad, which was also declined by NBC, concludes with the line,
"Jesus doesn't turn people away. Neither do we. No matter where you are
or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here." You can view
the ad on the UCC website here: www.stillspeaking.com/default.htm

In addition to FOX — the only major broadcast network so far to say it
will air the UCC's ad — the 30-second spot has been accepted by a
number of cable networks, including ABC Family, AMC, BET, CNN, Comedy
Central, the Discovery Channel, the Hallmark Channel, the History
Channel, Nick at Nite, TBS, TNT, the Travel Channel and TV Land.

In addition, the United Church of Christ announced that it has filed two
related petitions with the Federal Communications Commission. For more
on this story, visit:
http://www.ucctakeaction.org/ctt.asp?u=4497&l=70394

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