Censorship | Denver | News

Denver Arts Center Refuses to Display the Word 'Gay' on its Marquee, Instead Advertising 'Denver *** Men's Chorus'


A tipster sent this in to us over the weekend.

The Denver Gay Men's Chorus had a concert at the L2 Arts and Culture Center in Denver over the weekend, but you wouldn't know by looking at the marquee.

The word "gay" in the choir's name, deemed too inappropriate to be broadcast in bright lights, was instead replaced with three asterisks.

UPDATE: Our commenter David writes: "I talked to a friend in the chorus and he told me this story: The person at L2 who programmed the sign left without realizing that the 'nanny' software blocked GAY as an inappropriate word. Once people at L2 realized what had happened they scrabbled to override the software and did fix it. Sounds like the L2 staff were as upset that this happened as the chorus members were."

UPDATE II: Rocky Mountain Arts Association, the parent organization of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus, wrote in with a statement regarding the story.

"The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus worked with L2 Arts and Culture Center to rectify the situation this past weekend in a fast and efficient manner. We want to assure the community that the situation was caused by computer error and not a deliberate attempt by our friends at the center to disparage the chorus or its mission. We sincerely hope that this statement will put to rest any negative sentiment toward L2 Arts and Culture Center or the city of Denver, Colorado. We look forward to welcoming our fellow GALA Chorus members to our beautiful city in Summer 2012."

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  1. Have we now become a "bad" word ?

    Some direct action was needed here, in the form of a brick.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 19, 2011 10:15:33 AM

  2. so THEY can display the word on thier website but NOT on Outdoor advertising?

    Posted by: Gay American | Dec 19, 2011 10:23:56 AM

  3. I have a friend who is a member of the chorus and apparently their was a computer glitch and it auto corrected to ***. That's what the concert hall is saying and they have apologized for the error.

    Posted by: Mike Triggs | Dec 19, 2011 10:29:17 AM

  4. This sounds like a software error--something might be built into it to censor certain words. Oh, SKYNET!

    Posted by: Peter | Dec 19, 2011 10:30:36 AM

  5. Not that this makes it particularly better, but to me this kind of looks like an error. Perhaps the big sign has some kind of "profanity filter" to prevent an upset employee from typing something inappropriate, and "gay" is one of the words in the filter.

    It seems to me that if the venue actually considered the word inappropriate, they would have put something else on the marquee, like "DGMC Concert." I bet an employee entered "Denver Gay Mens' Chorus" and didn't realize it would be bleeped out.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 19, 2011 10:30:50 AM

  6. I talked to a friend in the chorus and he told me this story: The person at L2 who programmed the sign left without realizing that the "nanny" software blocked GAY as an inappropriate word. Once people at L2 realized what had happened they scrabbled to override the software and did fix it. Sounds like the L2 staff were as upset that this happened as the chorus members were.

    Posted by: David | Dec 19, 2011 10:32:14 AM

  7. I submit that the word "god" is offensive/sacred and blocked by software. That's an ancient Judeo-Xian rule, so it must be right.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 19, 2011 10:33:48 AM

  8. Have they corrected the "error?" Can we see a pic of the corrected marquee?

    Posted by: marginalized much? | Dec 19, 2011 10:34:00 AM

  9. That the computer would not display it sounds like a lie to pacify.
    (a B.S. lie).

    This is why it seems like we barely existed before 2nd half of the 20th century, we were deleted and *** out of history.

    If and a big if, it is a software thing it needs to be fixed ASAP.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Dec 19, 2011 10:38:31 AM

  10. While the computer error explanation is completely plausible, I note the L2 Arts and Culture Center is owned by the L2 Church, which is clearly a conservative Christian church.

    That said, if the owners objected to a gay chorus singing in their building, they probably would have said so when the arrangements were being made.

    Posted by: james | Dec 19, 2011 10:41:26 AM

  11. Didn't Amazon have a similiar "glitch" where all LGBT lit was filtered as adult material, even the self-help and LGBT history books? They blamed it on a software glitch as well. I can accept the Concert Hall's explantion but I don't really understand why an electronic sign would need "nanny" software or why gay would be on the list of banned words.

    Posted by: KP | Dec 19, 2011 10:44:44 AM

  12. response from the denver *** men's chorus?

    Posted by: h | Dec 19, 2011 10:47:09 AM

  13. This is exactly why I was proud to sing with the Twin Cities GAY Men's Chorus. There are other GALA choruses out there who are wonderfully talented but don't use the G-word in their name... I'm a big fan of the ones who use it unapologetically and fearlessly. If we can't utter the word, why should we expect others to do so?

    I hope the computer glitch story is true, and that all in the Denver area will be able to don their *** apparel this season without fear.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Dec 19, 2011 10:53:51 AM

  14. Another silly non-story

    Posted by: Jerry | Dec 19, 2011 10:54:02 AM

  15. The Gay Men's Chorus should pull out of the gig immediately.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 19, 2011 10:57:14 AM

  16. How could any one be so stupid as to make a softwear programme which included the word "gay" as a censored word ?

    @Tom in Long Beach has it right ; we've only been existing in public for the last 50 years......now they want to shove us back into "the love that dare not speak its name."

    Well, listen up Denver - we dare !
    Peace, Oscar, we will always dare.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 19, 2011 11:00:24 AM

  17. You might change the headline, then, if the explanation given in the story is accurate--because if it is, then your headline isn't.

    Posted by: Danny | Dec 19, 2011 11:03:05 AM

  18. "Don we now our *** apparel." Anybody know how to pronounce " *** "? I'm going caroling tonight.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 19, 2011 11:05:56 AM

  19. Correction and admission:

    I can't spell " software".

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 19, 2011 11:06:45 AM

  20. *** The chorus formally known as gay.

    Posted by: gregg | Dec 19, 2011 11:13:25 AM

  21. I am sorry for those screaming "cover-up": Denver is a very progressive and gay town. Don't think the Arts Center is going to purposely do this. But thanks for playing the gay "the world hates me!"

    Posted by: zeddy | Dec 19, 2011 11:17:58 AM

  22. Yet another credibility loss for Towleroad. Please change the title for this story please to accurately reflect what actually happened.

    Posted by: zeddy | Dec 19, 2011 11:23:02 AM

  23. If you say "gay" wash your mouth out with soap.

    Posted by: Charley | Dec 19, 2011 11:25:47 AM

  24. @Zeddy :
    The evidence seems to point in another direction. Just saying.....

    We are still awaiting the pic. of the corrected sign. so the jury is still 'out'.......

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 19, 2011 11:26:35 AM

  25. Partially off-topic, MTV Arabia part of MTV International Networks continuously bleep the words Gay, Lesbian and bisexual. It is especially ironic that I noticed that while watching a program about acceptance and understanding in schools.

    Posted by: E.N. | Dec 19, 2011 11:30:08 AM

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