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article imageThe Notoriously Anti-Gay Dr. Laura Makes Her TV Debut

By Digital Journal Staff     Sep 12, 2000 in Lifestyle
LOS ANGELES - The notoriously anti-gay Dr. Laura Schlessinger took to the television airwaves on Monday, September 11 with her new talk show. Although the premiere episode dealt with the relatively non-controversial issue of teen drug abuse, the debut provoked a new round of protests against the good doctor, who has called gay men and lesbians the "deviant" results of a "biological error" and suggested that "a huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys."
Demonstrations took place on Monday in front of dozens of television stations across the country that aired the program. The controversy began early this year when Paramount announced plans for a Schlessinger-hosted show. Since then, and other groups have organized a high-profile campaign to scuttle the show.
Activists John Aravosis and Robin Tyler are enthusiastic about the success of their protests -- and they talked with PlanetOut Radio's Lucia Chappelle and suggested that whether Schlessinger is on the air or not, the GLBT community has already won.
At least 22 cities have held protests, and tens of thousands of people have called Paramount and the show's sponsors. The syndicator of Dr. Laura's long-running radio show said that the program - one of the nation's highest rated - had lost nearly 10 percent of its advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, and Xerox. So far, however, no affiliates have agreed to drop the show.
In response, Schlessinger has urged her listeners to write supportive letters and e-mails to the remaining sponsors and to buy their products. And she has not backed down from her positions. She asserts that she is simply promoting family values and that her views are identical to those of the pope.
During an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live," she denied that she had ever "called anyone a name" and accused gay rights groups of distorting her record. USA Today also reported that Schlessinger's new book, Parenthood by Proxy, charges gay men and lesbians with repositioning "sexual deviancy as a constitutionally protected 'lifestyle' equivalent in every way to heterosexuality."
3 More Sponsors Leave Dr. Laura reported this week that three more companies have dropped their sponsorship of anti-gay top-rated radio talk show host "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger: RadioShack, Motel 6 and Saab. and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have geared their continuing national campaigns to stopping Schlessinger's upcoming syndicated TV show, but since Procter & Gamble withdrew its support from that project, no other sponsor has been made public. However, seventeen other national companies have either dropped their sponsorship of the radio program or stated they would not advertise on it.
Electronics retailer RadioShack's director of media relations Kay Jackson issued a statement on August 22 saying, "RadioShack strictly adheres to a policy NOT to advertise on programs that might be politically or socially controversial or that promote any one individual's agenda or point of view.
Hotel chain Motel 6's executive administrative assistant to the chief executive officer Cecile C. Kale issued a statement on August 22 saying, "When you choose to sponsor a program such as a radio talk show, you take the risk that the host of the program may voice opinions that do not reflect your company's values.
Saab Cars USA, Inc. president Dan Chasins wrote to activist John Selig on August 23 saying, "First let me thank you for calling to my attention that Saab's advertising was appearing on the Dr. Laura show in some local radio markets. As I mentioned to you on the phone, Saab has an important audience and customer base in the gay and lesbian community, and it would hardly be our intention to offend this audience by appearing to support Dr. Laura's points of view on sexual preference. is planning coordinated demonstrations nationwide to coincide with the debut of the TV show on September 11.
More about Pride, Anti-gay, Laura schlessinger, Queer
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