CTV - Canadian Television NetworkThe Canadian Television Network (CTV) has pulled a commercial after activists on Facebook claimed it was a violation of the channel’s own ethical policy.

The 30-second advertisement, from Ontario-based Life Productions, contained the following message:

You hear a lot about gay rights, gay marriage and the gay lifestyle being taught in our public schools for children, but what many people don’t realize, and seldom hear, is that many homosexuals don’t want to be homosexual. What many who are struggling with homosexuality don’t realize, and seldom hear, is that they can change. I should know – for 13 years, I used to be one.

No clue is given where homosexuals might find this help, or what form this help might take. Life Productions appears to be independently producing and promoting evangelical Christian resources, and there is no indication on the website of an affiliation with a specific ex-gay ministry.

In familiar fashion, the commercial capitalizes on the ambiguity of the word “change,” rightly offending those who know that no substantial scientific evidence has ever been produced to show that ex-gay therapy or ministry can actually change a person’s sexual orientation. The most reliable research to date is capable of yielding only negligible conclusions at best.

A visit to Life Productions’ website reveals even bolder claims than those contained in the relatively mild advertisement, stretching the truth beyond recognition to proclaim:

“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” … Homosexuality can be cured!

A Facebook group set up on Monday, following the broadcast, had by Friday attracted 838 members. CTV responded with the following message to the group’s founder:

I wanted to advise you that after reviewing, CTV has deemed the commercial inappropriate and it has been pulled off the air.

In a later message, a spokesperson for CTV added:

I assure you that had CTV known the content of the ad, it would not have gone to air. It is our corporate policy not to air advocacy ads of this nature. Moreover, CTV television stations do not condone, promote or engage in discrimination against anyone based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability. We have a proud history of promoting diversity and building bridges of understanding between cultures both within our company and the communities in which we operate.

A modest victory, not merely for gays and for those wounded by the exaggerated promises of the ex-gay movement, but for science, reason and common sense.

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