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by Jeremy Hooper

Focus on the Family today unveiled a new TV ad for a spinoff website called "Thanks Fred." On said site, you can find links to all of the rabidly anti-gay group's usual information, like "counseling for same-sex attraction":

Picture 3-172

In fact, the spinoff is really just FOF's usual site with some added bells and whistles. So clearly, since the ad is so thoroughly controversial and patently offensive to millions of gay people and like-minded allies, there's no way the broadcast networks would ever consider airing it, right? Well...

This from Focus on the Family's CitizenLink:

Meet Fred.

Fred is part of a national TV commercial produced by Focus on the Family that is airing through the end of the year on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and other stations.

Debbie Rusch, executive director of marketing at Focus on the Family, said Fred represents all Focus on the Family donors.

"'Thanks Fred' is a way for us to represent the work the constituents have done for Focus on the Family," she told Family News in Focus.

Uhm, the major broadcast networks are planning on airing an ad for Focus on the Family? For the rabidly gay-unfriendly Focus on the Family? Yea, we have a MAJOR problem with that! And you know who else better have a big problem with it if they want eyeballs viewing their sweeps month specials? THE NETWORKS! Because there is no way we are going to sit back like couch potatoes and have the suddenly/suspiciously Brooke Smith-less "Grey's Anatomy" interrupted with commercials from this, one of the gay community's biggest foes! We watch TV to be entertained, not reminded of how much negligent misinformation and overt detestation is still being harnessed against us by this "pro-family" group!

We're sitting tight for now, since FOF has in the past made similar claims that go far beyond what they've actually obtained. But if true, then Betty ain't the only thing that's gonna get "Ugly" this fall season!!

Good News: Focus on the Family Airs National TV Ad [CitizenLink]

**MORE: This information is just three clicks away from the "Thanks Fred" landing page:

Picture 4-193

**Right Wing Watch is also on this.

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Your thoughts

Hatemongery is expensive! They need to bilk more donations out of the flockers!

Posted by: Dick Mills | Nov 11, 2008 8:21:55 PM

Well the networks better think about this before selling them air time. It is not about free speech -- It's about corporate decision making. Selling to a group who is actively, admittedly trying to "change" us is not gonna fly!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 11, 2008 8:33:03 PM

GLAAD had better get on these stations' collective asses.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Nov 11, 2008 8:55:47 PM

First the fuckers lie and say that they don't want to nullify existing marriages, or that civil unions are the same as marriages. And now THIS bullshit?

I am seriously shocked that the Prop 8 protests have not turned into riots. These people are insane in their hatred.

Posted by: aaa | Nov 11, 2008 9:00:20 PM

i need some same-sex attraction counseling, straight people scare me and I feel its wrong to be heterophobic

Posted by: queerunity | Nov 11, 2008 10:12:12 PM

Fred looks pretty unhappy... must be one of those "ex-gays."

Posted by: Jackson H | Nov 11, 2008 10:53:15 PM

For anyone who is not fully clear on this: the American Psychological Association along with ALL reputable psychological and counseling associations expressly forbids so called "conversion" therapy for LGBT people. This "conversion" or "reparative" therapy is based on dangerous principles than can cause severe harm to those receiving it and therapists who conduct this therapy face the risk of legal action and loss of professional license. For this reason,most of the "therapist" are un-licesenced people with "doctoral" degrees from unaccredited degree mills. There is such a thing as therapy for ego dystonic homosexuality, but even this is suspect.

Posted by: Dr Nicola Simmersbach PsyD LMFT | Nov 12, 2008 1:29:43 AM

I can't get the damn thing to load. Excuse me FOF, I mean dang thing. I guess I'm out of luck, because I don't watch much network TV except for PBS and MSNBC. Well I do watch "The Big Bang Theory", but it just doesn't seem right for FOF to advertise on something by that name.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Nov 12, 2008 3:51:08 AM

@Mike in the Tundra

I had to open the Citizenlink website and view it from there to see it for some reason.

Posted by: aaa | Nov 12, 2008 8:38:35 AM

I'm sooooo glad I don't watch teevee anymore. That ad is very annoying and immature. May all that FOF does be returned to them threefold.

Posted by: EvilPoet | Nov 12, 2008 8:45:11 AM

Mike, aaa: The file was corrupted. It should be viewable now.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 12, 2008 8:55:53 AM

Hate to be the voice of dissent on one of my favourite blogs, but the ad itself is not offensive. FOF is, but I think it's not going to be easy to make the argument that networks will be offending their viewers just by allowing an organisation that has an anti-gay branch to advertise, given that the advertisement doesn't mention gay people in any way.

Posted by: Willie Hewes | Nov 12, 2008 2:19:09 PM

Willie: So if we make a nice, sweet, cute ad that sends you to a site where "christian conversion" is encouraged, do you think the networks would/should air that?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 12, 2008 2:21:20 PM

I would like to see an advertisement that would be like that mormons stealing your marriage license advertisement, and show the after effects of donating to FOF.

Like a gay teenager being forced to go to "conversion therapy"

How about a PFLAG advertising campaign to counter the FOF advertising campaign.

Posted by: Matt from California | Nov 13, 2008 11:41:33 AM

How about an ad, showing that conversion therapy just don't work? How about the two that started up Exodus- stating they were 'cured', married women and had kids. They they came out (again) as gay at an Exodus event and stated they were a couple. And... EXODUS IS STILL OPERATING! That is some effed-up s.

Posted by: Denny | Nov 13, 2008 7:26:02 PM

I took their ad and made some of my own personal comments in the video using youtube's annotation function:


Posted by: UnionStayshyn | Nov 13, 2008 8:27:31 PM

If you read Focus' materials, they always say UNWANTED same-sex attractions. FOF does not go out on the street trying to 'convert' gays to be straight. They are simply a resource for those who WANT to change, but don't know how.

Posted by: Bethany | Nov 14, 2008 10:41:59 AM

That is absolute bullcrappy, Bethany. The "unwanted' label is just there for cover. They definitively state that homosexuality is outside of God's design, and they unapologeticaly tell anyone who will listen that gays can and should change (esp. through their Love Won Out program).

Yes, they use clever phrasing and make it all about self-determination. But the idea is the same. And that idea? It is unscientific! It is also used to give these groups cover for their "love the sinner, hate the sin" messaging. By making it sound as if gays can change, they allow themselves to hate the "behavior" not the person. It is wrongheaded, and deeply offensive to most of the LGBT population.

On a side note, I do have to ask you: How is Hermitage these days? Believe it or not, I grew up there.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 14, 2008 11:19:10 AM

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