Email From Equality Utah about LGBT Families

I got an email from Equality Utah and wanted to share. There was a big brouhaha over the local NBC affiliates decision not to pick up a new NBC sitcom, “The New Normal.”

Dozens of news sources have covered the story but in a nutshell, NBC’s local Salt Lake affiliate, KSL (owned by a subsidiary of the Mormon Church) refused to pick up the new series about a gay couple who has a baby through a surrogate mom. You can read more about it here.

Jeff Simpson, the president of the Bonneville International that owns the station, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.” Oh please. This statement is an equivocation. KSL shows lots of programs with content that includes murder and rape, content that is also inappropriate for family view time. The real issues is the show focuses on a family with two dads who are in love and committed to each other, so much so that they choose to have a child and start a family.

Then I got this email from Equality Utah and I can see a glimmer of progress

The last 2 days have been a swirling puzzle of negotiations and conference calls. The result: Equality Utah, The Utah Pride Center and 3 LGBT families sat down with Jeff Simpson,  the CEO of Bonneville International (the parent company of KSL) and others to talk about the importance of visibility and valuation of LGBT families. Through the work of GLAAD nationally and community members locally the stage was set. We requested a face to face meeting with decision makers, and today, we got it.

In an historic moment, KSL released a tandem statement with us including a quote acknowledging the value of LGBT families!!! For the first time is KSL history, we will be spoken about as LGBT families, not non-traditional families, not alternative families – but LGBT families. Truly – the  sitcom is not even the core issue, as  it will be picked up by another affiliate in Utah –  the core success is working in partnership with GLAAD, the Utah Pride Center, Bonneville Communications and KSL to raise awareness and visibility of our community! The core success is having KSL release a tandem statement with us proclaiming the value of LGBT families.

Here’s a quote from KSL’s statement: “We care about and value all members of our community, including LGBT people and their families”

This might seem like something small, but in reality, it is HUGE. This is the business of changing hearts and minds – and believe me, a lot of Utahns watch KSL, and read the Des News, and those are exactly the folks we need to reach to secure equal rights and protections for LGBT Utahns and their families…

Working for a fair and just Utah,



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  • Trev
    September 2, 2012

    :D. Very nice!

  • David Beagin
    September 3, 2012

    Thank you for posting this Seth. LGBT has family values too! I am eager to see the new sitcom, The New Normal. Thank you for all the interesting blog posts. You are a great teacher for home schooling on this important subject. We should all receive credits toward a Humanities degree.

  • Dean
    September 3, 2012

    It is good to see this one small step forward. I hope more will follow.

  • Michael
    September 10, 2012

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. I can’t help noticing, though, that the statement as quoted by the Equality Utah letter doesn’t actually use the phrase “LGBT families.” Rather, the statement uses the phrase, “LGBT people and their families.” In other words, there is still wiggle room to reasonably construe the statement as a reference to gay people and their families of origin, rather than their chosen life partner and their children with that partner. I wonder to what degree that was a deliberate exercise in semantics on the part of KSL and Bonneville, versus being an incidental outcome in the verbiage.

    Either way, this is still a major breakthrough that this conversation between these parties happened at all, and that the identifiers “LGBT” are being used by Bonneville and KSL, and being used in an affirming voice.

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