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St. Pete Pride Cancels Contract with Clear Channel Over Censorship of Gay Couple Billboards


The images that you see here of two gay couples posing affectionately for the St. Pete Pride ad campaign were rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor Tampa Bay after being submitted to appear on billboards for upcoming gay pride events. The rejection of the billboards have prompted St. Pete Pride to cancel its entire pending contract with Clear Channel.

Two that had been approved for the billboards appear, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wrote Clear Channel to St. Pete Pride organizers:

"After consulting with our Division President and Public Affairs Director the two images that I attached are the only ones that we have the permission to run for your campaign. I’m going to schedule these two to begin running on Monday. If you’d like to create a few more designs that we may be able to use please send them my way. After I receive approval for any new designs you may have I’ll put them into the rotation with these two. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks!"

The rejection of the innocuous "couple" images has understandably miffed organizers. They wrote to Clear Channel:

"The images that were not selected do not contain anything that is sexual, immoral, illegal or otherwise offensive in nature. I’m almost certain that you have had billboards in the market which display men and women in both friendly and romantic ways. I can’t seem to understand where these images would be any different, except for the fact that they portray two men and two women, respectively."

See the two images that were approved, AFTER THE JUMP...


Two of Clear Channel's "approved" images:



Peter Schorsch at Saint Petersblog writes

"In other words, Clear Channel approved the artwork depicting the, um, transvestite and the couple adopting a child, which, thanks to the backwards mentality of the rednecks in North Florida who voted for the constitutional amendment doing so, is prohibited in Florida. But the pictures of gay men and lesbian women — gasp — embracing each other is just too frightening to show in public. The rejection of the artwork for the billboards has the organizers of St. Pete Pride contemplating not only pulling their business related to their event, but also organizing a larger boycott of Clear Channel."

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  1. What year is it exactly? In Toronto, where I live, it is 2010 and every major corporation and media outlet is clamboring to be an official sponsor of our Pride celebrations. We have so much to be thankful for in Toronto and Canada, from the freedom to marry whoever we want, to a citizenship that celebrates diversity in all its many forms. So it is with a heavy heart that I see what others, especially in the United States, must go through. Keep fighting, one day you will overcome.

    Posted by: jamesintoronto | Jun 14, 2010 12:30:18 PM

  2. It's Clear Channel. What else is new?

    Posted by: Hank | Jun 14, 2010 12:33:34 PM

  3. Regardless of politics, the bottom two ads are better anyway. The top two look like the ads from a 1999 issue of the Advocate.

    Posted by: TonsofT | Jun 14, 2010 12:38:59 PM

  4. If they were in swim trunks on a beach, fine. Otherwise, why shirtless and in negligees? I am not aroused by it, and it is no big deal, but it seems needlessly provocative.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jun 14, 2010 12:46:00 PM

  5. candideinnc, take a look at ANY clothing advertisement advertisement on a billboard, magazine, or in a MALL for gods sake and you'll see heterosexuals grinding each other, laying on top of each other, making out with each other, or showing off the goodies.

    This is more tame than ANYTHING you see every damn day involving the hets, and OURS is provocative?

    Please deprogram yourself.

    Posted by: Gridlock | Jun 14, 2010 12:54:06 PM

  6. The two dudes and the two woman were mostly showing skin ... without context of location.

    The designer of the billboards was really not thinking ...

    Obviously shirtless men and women wearing very little are everywhere on billboards - BUT we are talking homo SEXUALITY why push the skin ???

    Posted by: TONI | Jun 14, 2010 1:03:48 PM

  7. Clear Channel is evil - way before this. Take the billboards to a competing company.

    Posted by: Snowlowe | Jun 14, 2010 1:05:40 PM

  8. Oh Toni and Candide, you both need to REALLY get with the fucking program here. This is about equality. I am INUNDATED with HETERO SKIN every FUCKING day. You both need to STFU and fuck off apparently since you can't wrap your tiny pea brains around this concept. Ugh. People like you make me want to fucking puke. Fucking homophobe apologists. VOMIT.

    Posted by: wtf | Jun 14, 2010 1:14:08 PM

  9. Weird, I thought the couples look harmless and as if they're at the beach. The bottom two don't make any sense but the top two do because you think of PRIDE as a festival and when you think of Tampa, you think sun, beach surely the above two make sense of the way you would dress to go to a sunny festival near the beach lol!!??

    Or is this festival in a home so they should be all covered up?

    Some comments are mad.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 14, 2010 1:19:39 PM

  10. It's an anti-sexuality world we live in folks! Touch,physical intimacy and nudity are TABOOOOOO! Especially between two beautiful ADULTS of the same gender. If it wasn't so sad and pathetic and childish it would be laughable. Clear Channel Florida might want to have a conversation with Clear Channel San Francisco since they obviously have different criteria about what is "appropriate". It is 2010 in the United States of America isn't it?

    Posted by: SFshawn | Jun 14, 2010 1:19:58 PM

  11. Feel free to let them know we are disappointed in their decision... here is their contact info.

    Posted by: Geo Vaughn | Jun 14, 2010 1:20:07 PM

  12. I really liked the top ad with the blue sky... and saw nothing wrong with it.

    Posted by: AGB | Jun 14, 2010 1:25:43 PM

  13. It may be 2010 in America, but a lot of America still thinks like it's 1864.

    Posted by: Ty | Jun 14, 2010 1:39:26 PM

  14. I'm puzzled by the approved ad showing a drag queen in chains. It most likely matches what Clear Channel's comfort level is: they are OK with gay men as long as they aren't touching ~or~ are in some kind of glitzy "entertainment" mode on stage.

    Posted by: johnny | Jun 14, 2010 1:55:16 PM

  15. It is sad how some comments are aimed at appeasing the anti-sexuality community. Part of what freedom is is being able to show affection in public. By putting these affectionate, not sexual, images out there we are getting people use to seeing happy, adult, gay people expressing affection for each other. Remember when straight guys couldn't even hug?

    Posted by: pete | Jun 14, 2010 2:04:44 PM

  16. these bill boards are no different than ones i seen advertising for straight couples to visit florida. but horrors of horrrs they show couples of the same sex and it immediately throws the corporate world into a dither. i am willing to bet clear channel has run more revealing bill boards with straight couples or with individuals. maybe it is time for the u.s. to join the rest of the western world in the 21st century.

    Posted by: walter | Jun 14, 2010 2:05:31 PM

  17. You've got to wonder about the actual human being at Clear Channel who is making the decision to refuse to run the couple ads. What standards can they possibly be defending that aren't rife with discrimination?

    Posted by: Chal | Jun 14, 2010 2:07:07 PM

  18. This should surprise no one. Clear Channel had a very cozy relationship with George W. Bush. Many of Clear Channel's top brass had been friends with Bush since his days as Governor of Texas. As Bush prepared for war, a group called Rally for America organized pro-war rallies that were heavily promoted on Clear Channel stations. Many people believe Clear Channel was behind "Rally for America". In the 2004 elections, Clear Channel executives donated $42,200 to Bush compared to a mere $1750 to John Kerry. Clear Channel is the devil.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 14, 2010 2:07:53 PM

  19. Clear Channel is super evil. I began noticing this right after 9-11

    Posted by: Uluwehi | Jun 14, 2010 2:23:46 PM

  20. Provocative? As with most cities in Florida, St. Pete depends on its access to the beach for tourism. I mean, it's called St. Pete's Beach for crying out loud! These two couples are clearly at the beach. The blue sky in the background of the gay couple suggests this, as does the sand in the background of the photo featuring the lesbian couple.

    Posted by: Peter | Jun 14, 2010 2:26:58 PM

  21. Of course they would approve the clown like drag queen and the non touching gay family.
    One is the court jesture and the other could be just friends with a nephew.

    Posted by: Dairyqueen | Jun 14, 2010 3:15:24 PM

  22. The only thing that will get Clear Channel and other media channels to change is if they not only hear from advertisers, but also from consumers. Drop the company a line at their contact page to let them know how wrong they were to reject these two ads.

    Posted by: MadCityMan | Jun 14, 2010 4:07:04 PM

  23. Uluwehi is right. Clear Channel has always been evil. Remember when they banned all anti-war songs on all of their radio stations just after 9/11? They even banned Imagine by John Lennon. They're bigoted ass holes. Stop doing business with them.

    Posted by: Mr. E | Jun 14, 2010 5:39:29 PM

  24. The Pride Committee of St. Pete should be replaced for it's irresponsible solicitation of the uber evil Clear Channel. That company has never and will never be a friend to the GLBTQ Community and not being aware of their policies of discrimination is over the top irresponsible. Fuck clear channel and the shoddy memory of Our Community.

    Posted by: contragenic | Jun 15, 2010 12:10:58 PM

  25. It's very clear that as long as we are shown as stereotypes (drag queens) and asexual (parents with a kid between them) we are okay to look at. But give us some sort of sexuality and take away the stereotypes that surround us and suddenly everybody is all up in arms.

    It's very reminiscent of the Civil Rights era and even before that. Show us as servants or eating watermelon and tap dancing for pennies and everybody's okay. But once you showed us black folk as actual HUMAN BEINGS suddenly everybody gets up in arms.

    I don't blame them for wanting to sever ties with Clear Channel. I don't blame them one bit.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 15, 2010 2:56:40 PM

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