Clear Channel bans gay
QSanAntonio, August 4, 2012
San Antonio-based Clear Channel has banned the likenesses of Mitt Romney,
Sarah Palin, President Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Michelle Bachman
from being used on billboards for a gay dating website. The billboards
depict Romney marrying Trump and Palin marrying Bachman with President
Obama presiding over the nuptials.
The five public figures portrayed in the billboards are celebrity look-alikes.
In a press release distributed by BeautifulPeople.com on August 1, the
company states: "In the wake of President Obama's recent backing
of same-sex marriage and a Supreme Court decision looming, BeautifulPeople.com
is launching Gay and Lesbian versions of its online dating site in a national
show of support for equal rights. Beautiful People's billboard campaign,
scheduled to launch across the country in support of same-sex marriage
legislation, has been banned."
Undaunted the company has redesigned censored versions of the billboards.
The new versions have gone up in 10 locations around Los Angeles including
West Hollywood and in Clearwater, Florida near Tampa Bay where the Republican
National Convention is slated to begin on August 27.
In New York City, Beautiful People was able to contract a mobile billboard
company which is displaying the images uncensored.
"This is a national campaign championing equal rights for the LGBT
community and pledging support in a colorful way," says Greg Hodge,
BeautifulPeople's managing director in the press release. "Through
a humorous campaign we wanted to showcase how many of our political heavyweights
are living in the last century."
Hodge went on to say that the company is donating 15 percent of every
same-sex membership in the web site to a non-profit that champions marriage
Clear Channel Communications is the number one radio company in the U.S.
Their corporate office is located at 200 East Basse Road in San Antonio.
Clear Channel owns a 90 percent stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings,
one of the world's largest outdoor advertising companies with about 840,000
display locations worldwide. The company is owned by CC Media Holdings,
an investment group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.
Clear Channel scored a 75 out of 100 on the most recent Human Rights Campaign
Equality Index which is considered a "moderate" score. Their
non-discrimination policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The company does not offer health coverage for transgender employees without
exclusion for "medically necessary care." It also scored a "0"
for "organizational LGBT cultural competency" which includes
"diversity trainings, resources or accountability measures."
On August 1, Beautiful People requested a statement in writing from Clear
Channel as to why the billboards were banned. However at press time Clear
Channel had not responded.