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Did you know marriage equality is a mainstream thing these days? Polling released Monday shows that fully 56 percent of Americans are more than ready for the Supreme Court to do gay marriage to the entire country, and those numbers grow every single year. So you’d think a commercial featuring a gay Republican military doctor who really wants to marry his boyfriend wouldn’t be considered “controversial.” OH BUT IT IS! At least for WRCB, an NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

“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.”

Yes, well, people had really strong “opinions” on interracial marriage and the Civil Rights Act, but you didn’t see WRCB refusing to air ads featuring black people, unless they did, in which case fuck them.

Truly, this ad seems so controversial, assuming you are a backwoods fundamentalist in the outskirts of the WRCB viewing area:

“I’m a Republican, I’m a doctor, and I’m a soldier,” says a voice over by [Jesse] Ehrenfeld as the commercial shows images of him serving in uniform, and back at home with his boyfriend, Judd Taback. “As a military physician, I take care of other people’s loved ones who are wounded in combat. But here at home, I’m fighting a different fight. Because I’m gay, I’m not allowed to marry my partner here in Tennessee where we live.”

Other Tennessee markets haven’t had trouble with the content of the ad, as it’s running in Nashville and Memphis, where yr Wonkette lives, and which is, of course, the home of ANOTHER gay military couple, what sued Tennessee for recognition of their marriage. They are now, with the rest of us, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on whether their marriage is gay enough to be considered valid.

The most surprising thing about all this (it is not surprising) is that the station didn’t seem to have a policy prohibiting OTHER issues-based ads, until station manager Tolar saw the terrible, horrible, controversial ad featuring the Republican Navy doctor and his husband-to-be. Asked whether any other issues rose to such an EMOTIONAL level that they simply can’t be aired on the television during “Wheel Of Fortune,” Tolar said, “Not really.” Heckuva job you are doing at teevee station managing, champ! Explain once more why this is stupid and should not be a big deal, Dr. Ehrenfeld, EVEN IN CHATTANOOGA:


“I just got back in April from my tour in Afghanistan, where I put my life on the line to fight for our freedom,” he continued. “I believe so strongly in the right to our freedom, and I was disappointed that this is the position of the TV station, that they are not interested in engaging in an important discussion about those freedoms today.”

We hate to tell WCRB this, but at the end of this month, you’re getting throat-crammed with gay marriage, by the Supreme Court. You’d probably do well to ease into it, by running this commercial about Nice Gays.

[Buzzfeed via NewNowNext]


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