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More on The Commercial Appeal's anti-gay ad

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Let's see if we can keep all of this straight: The Commercial Appeal has a policy not to run advertisements that may offend sensitive readers unless those advertisements are functionally anonymous advertorials implying that the gay community is engaged in a conspiracy to seduce the children of heterosexuals.

In a written response to complaints about a full-page ad titled "The Whole Truth About Homosexuality," CA editor Chris Peck said his newspaper "fully supports the rights of people to express opinions, even opinions we or others might find objectionable. This right to express opinion is fundamental to a free press and the First Amendment."

That sounds pretty good until you ask whether or not Peck would stand by an unsigned and structurally similar ad implying that doctors at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are seducing patients: same script, different characters.

Also of note is an excerpt from a July article titled "Certain Ads Declined," quoting CA publisher George Cogswell, who says the newspaper has stopped accepting ads from a national vendor whose products are promoted as sexual enhancements: "While the products are legal and protected under free speech laws, we recognize the sensibilities of those who find the ads to be of questionable taste. We have made the decision to discontinue publishing the ads out of respect for our readers."

In an editorial, Peck said that the CA wouldn't run the anti-gay ad anymore and denounced discrimination but stood by his defense of free discriminatory expression as defined by the monetized content in his newspaper. The decision to discontinue that ad wasn't made because it equated a whole group of people with perverse intention, but because it was anonymously attributed to the non-denominational churches of Christ, which is like saying it was paid for by some guys who represent the views of some religious people.

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