Fox News has refused to broadcast an advert which calls for the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The ad, by the pro-repeal Palm Center, features Canadian and Australian military leaders saying that lifting their countries’ bans on out gay soldiers were a “non-event” and did not harm the military.
Fox apparently objected to the ad’s opening lines, which said: “As the military prepares to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ our NATO allies have told us what to expect … Business as usual.”
The network argued that this statement was incorrect as there are no firm plans to repeal the law, Media Matters reports.
In the ad, Major General Walter Semianiw, chief of military personnel in the Canadian Forces, says: “There is no negative impact of having men and women of any sexual orientation fighting together, be it in Afghanistan, be it in Iraq.”
Major General Simon Willis, the former head of defence personnel in the Australian Defence Force, added: “The lifting of the homosexual ban is a bit like Y2K. It was a nonevent, and it continues to be a nonevent.
The men were recorded at panel discussion in Washington last May.
Palm Center director Aaron Belkin: “I am surprised that Fox News would reject an ad featuring allied generals, given that both host Bill O’Reilly and guest contributor Liz Cheney have expressed support for open gay service.
“This is an important time for input from all sides on this issue, and I hope Fox will reconsider.”
Christopher Neff, deputy executive director of the Palm Center, added that the organisation was in talks with other cable news networks to air the ad.