Originally published on Advocate.com October 29 2004 12:00 AM ET
Five television stations pulled a commercial opposing Kentucky's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration announced on Wednesday. But the creators of the ad later revised the spot to include a recording of an interview with Fletcher on the amendment, The [Louisville] Courier-Journal reported Thursday. The administration on Tuesday asked stations across the state to consider pulling the ad, created by anti-amendment group No on the Amendment, claiming it misquoted the governor and misrepresented something he said at an October 13 news conference.
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 the news conference. 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. Bob Klingle, vice president and general manager of WHAS-TV, said the revised ad is acceptable and that the station will air it, the newspaper reported. Officials at the other stations could not be reached for comment on the new ad.
No on the Amendment began running the 30-second spot on Monday. It quotes Fletcher from an October 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 that 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.
The new ad includes a recording from the Fletcher interview, rather than a narrator's paraphrase, The Courier-Journal reported. It does not include Fletcher's comment that he didn't think the amendment would affect domestic-violence cases. 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. In the interview before the ad was revised, Lamb said the station would consider running a modified version of the ad, which it stopped airing at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.