More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Anti-Gay Infomercial Resurfaces in North Carolina and California
Back in February, we blogged about partnering with LGBT community members and leaders in several local markets who were responding to an anti-gay infomercial titled Speechless: Silencing the Christians, which was produced by the American Family Association. Local expressions of concern led stations in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio to either decline to air the infomercial or postpone airing it indefinitely.
Just this week GLAAD has received three more reports of constituents spotting the anti-gay paid program on their local affiliates.
One person saw it in West Hollywood, California on Independent Cable Channel, KDOC on Sunday, June 21, where it aired from 7 to 8 p.m. Another GLAAD constituent alerted us that the infomercial aired on WJZY the CW Channel 46 in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, June 20 from 9 to 10 p.m. And we heard from other GLAAD constituents that the program aired on KMPH Fox 26 in Fresno, California on Sunday, June 21 (Special thank you to these twitter users for the heads up on Fresno: Gayrainarmy, k8cch14 and jace78).
We appreciate our members alerting us to this information and urge local constituents to take their cue from other local folks who saw this program in the past and spoke out about the fear-mongering rhetoric contained in the hour-long piece. GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson had this to say in his Huffington Post opinion piece about this issue last February:
The infomercial was created and financed by the anti-gay American Family Association and features interviews with anti-gay activists who make a series of predictable, breathless, fear-mongering claims about LGBT people and equality.
As you would expect, the video is propaganda, pure and simple -- manufactured to perpetuate a climate of hostility toward our community and to create a culture where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are less safe, less secure, and where our families are put in harm's way.
Robinson also went on to advise local activists how to respond if this program comes to a market near them:
And it's critical that local community members across the country be vigilant should the AFA try to place this propaganda in their local markets, and be ready to effectively explain why the public's airwaves should not be used to sow seeds of fear, hostility and malice in the communities they serve.
While it is sad that anti-gay activists want to continue to perpetuate fears about our community, at the end of the day, it's all they have left. Every day, more and more Americans are getting to know and understand LGBT people and our families. For those whose opinions of our lives are becoming more favorable, the single greatest contributing factor is knowing someone who is gay or lesbian. And as more Americans see and know us as we are, our opponents' myths, attacks and defamatory stereotypes will continue to fall on ever-growing numbers of deaf ears.
We hope that people who live in the markets served by the three stations that are reportedly now airing this anti-gay infomercial will reach out to the stations using the contact info below. Help them understand why you are deeply concerned that they could be providing a platform for an out-of-state anti-gay group to create a climate of fear and hostility in your community.
As always, please use a respectful, approachable tone and appropriate language when voicing your concerns about this program.
KDOC-TV- Santa Ana, California
Janice Mansfield, Program Director
John Manzi, General Manager
WJZY-TV (The CW)- Charlotte, North Carolina
Joe Heaton, Programming Manager
Vice President and General Manager
KMPH FOX 26-TV - Fresno, California
T. (559) 453-8850
Vice President & General Manager
T. (559) 453-8850
General Sales Manager