A Chattanooga, Tennessee, television station has rejected a pro-same-sex marriage ad featuring a Navy veteran because it does not want to appear to support either side of the issue, station programmers said.
The ad features Jesse Ehrenfeld, a Nashville doctor and Navy reservist who recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, who says he is not allowed to marry his partner, though he served his country.
“I was able to stand up and put my life on the line for the freedoms that we all enjoy, and yet I don’t have the freedom to marry my partner Judd,” he said in the video ad.
Executives at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga said they would not air the ad.
“In this case, we decided to not accept ads ‘for gay marriage’ or ‘against gay marriage,’” WRCB-TV president and general manager Tom Tolar said in a statement.
Ehrenfeld, who also claims to be a “conservative Republican,” said that he thinks his perspective will cause people to “pause and reflect and have a conversation.”
Ehrenfeld criticized the TV station, essentially saying the executives were acting cowardly:
Perhaps they are afraid of running afoul of their audience, but for us, that’s why it’s important to share this ad with as many people as possible–so they can understand the impact of the marriage debate on people like Judd and myself, that we cannot share in all the rights marriage offers and are made to feel like we are second-class citizens. And that is not right in any shape or form.
Same-sex marriage is banned in Tennessee, and the state is one of four now involved in a case before the Supreme Court of the United States seeking to maintain the ban as constitutional.
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