Family values group urges NBC to omit lesbian kiss from 'Serving in Silence'

January 02, 1995|By David Robb | David Robb,The Hollywood Reporter

NBC's upcoming fact-based TV movie about the dismissal of a lesbian military officer, called "Serving in Silence," has drawn the ire of a group that bills itself as promoting "traditional family values."

The TV movie, which stars Glenn Close, is based on the true story of Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, who was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1992 after acknowledging that she was a lesbian. It will air Feb. 6.

A New York-based group called the Family Defense Council is protesting the fact that the film contains a scene in which Ms. Close and another woman kiss.

In a recent letter to NBC president Robert Wright, Family Defense Council chairman Howard Hurwitz urged the network to remove the kissing scene. "We hope that you will see the lesbian kiss as promoting the acceptance of homosexual behavior," Mr. Hurwitz told Mr. Wright. "We urge that you eliminate the scene."

Mr. Hurwitz wrote that "the 'lesbian kiss' is already being hailed by radical homosexuals as winning acceptance for their lifestyles. It is one thing to tolerate the individual homosexual. It is another to accept the gay political agenda."

Mr. Hurwitz wrote that "the gay political agenda" includes "demands for same-sex marriage and teaching school children that homosexuality is normal, healthy and an alternative to heterosexuality."

Richard Jennings, executive director of Hollywood Supports, the industry's clearinghouse for gay and AIDS issues, said "Serving in Silence" is "a long-awaited film. . . . It's the first gay hero to be depicted on television."

Of the Family Defense Council, Mr. Jennings said: "I think their name must be a total misnomer. Les bians and gays are a part of America's families, and the idea that we can't be portrayed as expressing affection for one another simply because of our sexual orientation is the grossest kind of bigotry, which doesn't belong in families. My understanding is that this is a self-styled Christian organization, and it seems appropriate for them to take another look at the Bible, where Christ says, 'Love thy neighbor.' It says nothing about censoring thy neighbor."

Mr. Hurwitz says that his 4-year-old organization has nearly 10,000 members.

"The great majority of people in the country don't want to see this kind of stuff on TV," Mr. Hurwitz told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's utterly unacceptable." Showing lesbians kissing on TV, he said, "is immoral and promotes homosexuality. If they don't cut it out, we will contact the advertisers in an effort to get them to withdraw their advertising."

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