The following was submitted to the local press in response to a question regarding CBS rejecting a Superbowl Sunday ad for a gay dating service: is this discrimination?
The issue of whether or not this rejection of a gay dating-service advertisement constitutes discrimination is best determined by those with legal training and access to details regarding the network’s history of standards and practices and the quantifiable issues at hand (Ex: precedent, available time slots, financial considerations, program focus, etc.)
With that said, it’s easy enough (even for peripheral sports fans like myself) to pick up on the fact that there is a strong history of sexualized content on Superbowl Sunday, and that this content is heterosexist in nature.
The religious principles by which I am guided advocate foremost for public and private practices valuing the existence, worth, and dignity of all people – including the hundreds of thousands of gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual athletes and sports fans who will be watching (wallets at hand).
Those same religious principles also guide me to believe that the issue doesn’t and shouldn’t end there. As a human family we’d be well served to: 1. collectively examine the ways in which our society uses/abuses human sexuality in general to promote commercial interests, and 2. to work towards the eradication of unrealistic, harmful gender and sex stereotypes wherever they may appear.