A dog named Norman, who moos rather than barks, is the star of a new campaign of five television ad spots (two of which I’ve posted here) and numerous print ads funded by the Gill Foundation that are designed to make people think of homosexuality in personal rather than religious or political terms. The ads are running in Colorado Springs, a city often at the center of the national gay rights debate that is also the home of damaged goods James Dobson and the location of his anti-gay group Focus on the Family’s headquarters.
Public Interest, the agency that produced the ads, says that they are not tied to any kind of specific legislation, but the existence of domestic partnership legislation on the November ballot has raised the hackles of FOF, whose hackles would have most likely been raised anyway. Focus on the Family has responded with a website of their own, No-Moo-Lies, which spouts the usual nonsense about ex-gays.
“The campaign targets neither religious fundamentalists nor gay-rights activists, but a ‘fat middle zone’ of heterosexuals who have never seriously considered the nature of sexual orientation,” according to Colorado Springs paper Indy.
Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and a city councilman have objected to the PSA’s presence on city buses and lightposts. Said Councilman Bernie Herpin: “To me, that’s politicizing our message that we’re putting on our lampposts, and being city lampposts it gives some credibility that the city supports the campaign, which I know the city does not. The city hasn’t taken a stand one way or the other.”
But other council members disagree: Said Councilman Jerry Heimlicher: “If it passed [the Downtown Partnership’s] smell test for putting it on the poles, then that’s judgment enough for me. I don’t consider them political statements. I think they’re quite clever, and they certainly accomplish their goal of trying to get people to talk about ‘What does that stand for?’ So what’s the harm?”
Plus, well, that mooing dog is so damn cute.
Born Different [website]
Soulforce Group Begins 65-mile March to James Dobson [tr]