Monday July 26, 2010

Spanish Television Network Fined EUR100,000 for Criticizing Homosexuality

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

MADRID, July 26, 2010 ( – Spain’s socialist government has fined the Intereconomia television network 100,000 euros (130,000 USD) for running a series of advertisements that it claims “attacks the dignity” of homosexuals.

The spots, which are self-promotional advertisements by the group Intereconomia, show scenes of outlandishly and scantily dressed participants in “gay pride” marches making sexually suggestive gestures to the camera and denouncing religious belief. The scenes, which are typical of such “pride” events, are so lewd that Google requires viewers to state that they are at least 18 years of age before showing the YouTube version.

In one of the ads, the images are interposed with a series of questions, including “is this the society that you want?” and whether or not the viewer would like to “support this with public money?” It ends with the question: “Proud? Of what?”

Another shows a series of photographs of homosexual activists followed by photos depicting families and children, and concludes, “One day of gay pride, 364 days of pride for normal, everyday people.” The spots reportedly ran 273 times between July 22 and September 17, 2009 on the network.

Following a complaint filed with the Ministry of Industry in January of this year, the ad was deemed unacceptable by the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a socialist regime that has established homosexual “marriage” in the country and strongly favors the gay political agenda. The fine was announced on June 2.

Political payback?

The Zapatero administration’s swipe against Intereconomia may also be political payback against the network, which has been a constant thorn in the side of Spain’s socialists.

Intereconomia’s promotional ads regularly attack Zapatero and socialism. One ad begins by noting that “socialists have never ceased to kill,” after which it shows a series of socialist dictators, including Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Tse Tung, and the corresponding death toll associated with each one. It then displays the face of Prime Minister Zapatero and says “Spanish Socialism, 100,000 deaths per year – before birth.”

Intereconomia has issued an official response to the fine, saying, “In analyzing the fine imposed on Intereconomia by the Ministry of Industry for a publicity campaign in defense of the family, it is fitting to remember that in Spain we did not construct a democracy for the purpose of having thought police.”

“Spaniards and their media have the right to point out the meddling of the government in public morals,” says the statement. “Even more when this meddling has been done, as in the case of gay marriage, in disobedience to the social consensus current in the immense majority of developed countries, and with the support of institutions like the Tribunal of Strasburg.”

“If the minority ‘gay lobby’ can exercise its traditional political activism, it is legitimate to give voice to criticisms,” the network writes, adding that such criticisms are “based on anthropology, science, and the very complexity of reality.”

Although the fine is a significant one, the Collective of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transsexuals of Madrid (COGAM) has said that it isn’t enough.

The organization said that homosexuals in Spain are a “very vulnerable,” and demanded “that this network be shut down as quickly as possible, changing the laws in effect if that is necessary.”