Los Angeles ABC Station Banned Gay Family Ads During Obama Inauguration

In every California county where Prop 8 passed by more than 50 percent, residents might be seeing one of five different ads GetToKnowUsFirst.org is running. Part of a campaign to tell everyone, “Hey, gays are normal!,” the ads intend “to capture the hearts and minds of people who do not understand why marriage is so important to us”; they show gay couples and their kids acting, well, like regular families, which they are. But locals who decided to watch Barack Obama‘s inauguration yesterday on the television network KABC — an owned-and-operated Disney-run ABC station, and not a regular affiliate — wouldn’t have seen any of those ads, because the network refused them. “Too controversial,” they insisted.

KABC told Chris Yokogawa, the media buyer at New and Improved Media trying to place GetToKnowUsFirst.org’s ads, that “many families will be watching,” so it wouldn’t be right to show the ad — which featured two black men raising their five children — during Obama’s inauguration broadcast. “saThey were firm in their rejection,” Yokogawa says in a release. “We went back and forth a couple of times. I explained that this family is far from controversial.” Adds the agency’s CEO Keith Fisher: “We usually only see this with risque content, as in a trailer for a movie. If KABC thinks they have to protect the public from this family, something’s obviously very wrong over there.”

Other networks, meanwhile, had no problem taking the organization’s cash in exchange for airing the ad. Only KABC, says GetToKnowUsFirst.org, refused to run it.

KABC’s president and general manager is Arnold J. Kleiner. The station lists their phone number as (818) 863-7777.