Update: This post has been updated to include a clean, legible version of the full page ad.
Today the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News ran full page ads by an anti-gay activist group called America Forever. This is the same group that was wearing “Homosexuality is Anti-Species” t-shirts last week.
The ads are being called “hateful” by both friends who find them disgusting and foes who fear they may reflect badly on their own more socially acceptable brand of anti-gay behaviors and attitudes.
Gay-rights opponent Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, agrees with America Forever’s stance on upholding “traditional marriage” but condemns the group’s tactics and rhetoric, including the ad.
“There’s no need to have hateful discourse,” Wimmer said. “Quite frankly, they make those of us who are on the side of traditional marriage — they make a lot of us — look bad.”
Yes, Wimmer, mirrors can be disconcerting.
But what I find more interesting than the bile splattered accross newspapers in Utah is what was not included in the Deseret News, a newspaper owned by the Mormon Church.
The Deseret News recognizes that their readership has a set of values and they established publishing guidelines so as not offend their sensibilities. Therefore, the Mormon paper had a slightly different version of the ad.
First, let’s see what was completely acceptable for Mormon eyes:
For example: by holding hands and kissing in the public area of: an apartment complex playground, in a family neighborhood, at a party, or to present one’s self as a homosexual person in the workplace, is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy, and backed by law, will force the acceptance of homosexuality as a relationship equal to a man and woman relationship.
If a hooker displays her conduct, a druggie displays his conduct and a homosexual displays his conduct, it is our right to not have them part of our lives: in our businesses, living in our basements, barbecuing in our yards, or in common living areas.
Gays should be forced not to display their sexual conduct to our children as role models in school as school teachers and principals, in our streets, shopping centers, and in our lives.
MediaOne made the decision to run both ads — and removed a photo of two gay men kissing from the LDS Church-owned News version — Low said, consistent with publishing guidelines from both papers.
Yep, undeniable hate speech that seeks to coerce one’s gay neighbors and remove their constitutional rights is perfectly acceptable. But a picture of two men kissing is forbidden – even when in an anti-gay ad.