LGBT — June 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Chattanooga TV station refuses to air marriage equality ad featuring Republican member of the military


WRCB-TV Channel 3, an NBC-affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee refused to air a 30-second commercial produced by Freedom to Marry that featured a Republican man and Navy combat veteran, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, decrying the fact that he served overseas in the military but is unable to marry the person he loves in the country he served. It’s a powerful ad:

Despite running multiple ads on the topic of reproductive rights and other controversial issues, Tom Tolar, the president and general manager of Chattanooga-based WRCB, said the ad was “too controversial” for the station to run:

“It’s just a very controversial and personal issue, and we just choose to not air a commercial on either side of that debate,” Tom Tolar, the president and general manager of Chattanooga-based WRCB, told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview.

The ad crossed the station’s lines, he explained, because “people probably have really strong opinions on one side or other of the debate. It’s just an emotional debate for many people.”

The station, an NBC affiliate that also broadcasts in parts of Georgia and North Carolina, didn’t have a position on ads about same-sex marriage until executives reviewed the commercial featuring Ehrenfeld on Wednesday, said Tolar. “We had not had a request before to run an issue-ad like that.”

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry described the decision as “irresponsible”:

“Here we have the story of a man from Tennessee who is a naval officer, who’s putting his life on the line for our country and he comes back to his home state and he can’t marry his partner, the man that he loves,” said Solomon, noting there haven’t been any similar problems airing the ads in about 22 other cities across the country.

Bigots, of course, defended the station’s actions. Former state Rep. Richard Floyd, a Chattanooga Republican, was particularly nauseating with his response:

“It made me want to stick my finger down my throat,” Floyd said. “Everybody knows what that is. Let’s face it, those people have money to spend.”

Floyd said he’s concerned the nation’s highest court will make same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

“They’re fixing to destroy monogamous families and traditional families,” he said. “It’s the final pillar standing. … This country will never recover.”

The fragility of opposite-sex marriages in the minds of bigots never fails to amaze me. For them, their marriages aren’t about the bond they have with their spouse. The success or failure of their marriages hinges, it appears, almost entirely on the marriages of others. If two men or two women are allowed to marry, their so-called “traditional” marriages are destined to fail, according to their, uh, “logic”.

Yeah, I don’t get it either. This sign seems entirely apropos: