Thursday, October 28, 2004

Some stations to pull gay-amendment spot

By Joe Biesk
The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Five television stations have decided to pull a commercial opposing the state's proposed same-sex marriage amendment, Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration announced Wednesday.

Executives at WDRB-TV and WHAS-TV in Louisville both said they decided to stop running the ad after comparing its content to what Fletcher said at a news conference earlier this month. The administration said two other Louisville stations, WAVE-TV and WLKY-TV, and one Lexington station, WTVQ-TV, also decided to stop running the ad.

The administration on Tuesday asked stations across the state to consider pulling the ad created by the anti-amendment group No on the Amendment, claiming it misquoted the governor and misrepresented something he said at an Oct. 13 news conference.

No on the Amendment began running the 30-second advertisement on Monday. It quotes Fletcher from an Oct. 13 news conference and claims he said, "We did not have a legal evaluation ... for all the ramifications of the amendment."

The governor's actual words were: "As you know, the administration was not involved in the drafting of that so I did not, we did not have a thorough legal counsel evaluation of that looking at all of the different ramifications."

The ad claims lawmakers who favored putting the amendment on the ballot now have second thoughts on its effects. The ad also claims the proposed amendment would affect all unmarried people - whether they're gay or straight - and could jeopardize domestic violence protective orders.

At one point, the narrator says, "And Governor Fletcher says the law may have legal ramifications we don't even know about."

Fletcher supports the amendment.

Bill Lamb, president and general manager at WDRB-TV, said the governor did not have any legal claim that could force the station to stop running the ad. However, pulling the ad was the "most ethical thing" for the station to do, Lamb said.

"After we looked at it very closely, we just felt that the ad was misleading and deceptive," Lamb said.

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