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Tennessee TV station refuses to air gay soldier’s Freedom to Marry commercial

On Monday, June 1st, 2015

ftm_1433038458047_19020035_ver1.0_640_480According to a May 30 report by the Knoxville News Sentinel, a television station in Chattanooga, Tennessee has fueled controversy for refusing to air a gay soldier’s commercial promoting marriage equality. As the nation prepares for a historic ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, the television station cited its decision to remain neutral on the issues as their reason for rejecting the commercial.

The ad from Freedom To Marry, an organization that promotes marriage equality, features Nashville’s Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, a gay Republican Navy veteran who is back in his home state after serving in trauma hospital during his nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Ehrenfeld wants the freedom to marry his partner, Judd Taback, who appears with him in the commercial.

According to a spokesperson for Freedom to Marry on Friday, the commercial was slotted to air in Tennessee this coming week. That was until NBC affiliate WRCB out of Chattanooga refused the ad. In an interview with Buzzfeed, the station’s president and general manager Tom Tolar said his station has no position on same-sex marriage, and wanted to remain that way. He told Buzzfeed:

“It’s just a very controversial and personal issue, and we just choose to not air a commercial on either side of that debate.

It should be noted that Tennessee is one of the 13 states that still ban same-sex marriage and is one of the four states involved in the case that the high court will make a ruling on sometime in June. Ehrenfeld and Taback are one of many couples who just want to have the freedom to marry and enjoy the same benefits as heterosexual couples. He says in the commercial:

“As a military physician, I take care of other people’s loved ones who are wounded in combat. But here at home, I’m fighting a different fight. Because I’m gay, I’m not allowed to marry my partner here in Tennessee where we live.”


About - Tarringo T. Vaughan always believed he had a love affair with literature. One of the first pictures he saw of himself was of him at maybe the age of three or four year’s old sitting with a book in his hand. But for Tarringo, growing up in the depths of the inner city both in Boston, MA and Springfield, MA made him believe that expression through the literary voice was un-cool and unattainable. As a very quiet and shy child he learned it became very valuable in his self expression. Born in 1976, Tarringo was the first child, grandchild and nephew in a family that had grown accustomed to struggle. His mother was a teenager who quickly lost the support of my father who today he knows very little of. These aspects of his life triggered the inspiration of his pen.

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