MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BNc) — WMC-TV’s Action News 5 reported last night on a full-page ad attacking homosexuality printed in the Commercial Appeal. The ad appeared in the Sunday and Tuesday editions of that newspaper.
Although it appeared to be a news column, it was a paid advertisement, one reporter said. She seemed to imply that the ad was being deceptive, although many ads take this format and are so designated.
Ending with the words, “This ad paid for by Memphis churches of Christ”, the ad has caused a reaction on the part of some. Some Memphis residents have questioned the decision of the Commercial Appeal to run the ad, calling it a hate article.
The TV report seemed to imply that the unsigned ad was cowardly since it was “untraceable.” It was reported among Christians on Facebook that the author was Garland Elkins.
The Commercial Appeal defended its actions by issuing a statement that said,
“The right to express opinion is fundamental to a free press and the First Amendment. In relation to homosexuality, the newspaper editorial board actively has opposed any kind of discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, and will continue to do so.”
In response to the ad, homosexual leaders sponsored a food drive through Nov. 9 for the Midsouth Food Bank. None of the leaders was identified by name.
The news report ended with a statement from Chris Altrock, minister for the Highland church, that “each congregation in Churches of Christ speaks only for itself.” The full statement on the website encourages readers to “disregard” the ad.
The TV report did not interview anyone who supported or defended the ad.