Gay activist group plans protest Wednesday against WFLA-Ch. 8 at its front door
More than two weeks have passed since WFLA-Ch. 8 aired as paid programing a controversial documentary titled Speechless: Silencing the Christians, which maintains that a "radical homosexual agenda" has led to unfairly persecuting religious people who find homosexuality morally wrong.
But the statewide gay rights advocacy group Equality Florida isn't willing to let the matter slide. The group has announced a press conference and demonstration at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, in front of WFLA's headquarters at 202 S. Parker St. in Tampa.
Equality Florida spokeswoman Nadine Smith said the group was disappointed that WFLA and executives at the TV station's owner Media General have not apologized for airing the documentary or offered free airtime for a presentation which might offer an opposing view.
Smith said their protest coincides with a local visit by Media General president and CEO Marshall Morton; online materials circulated by the group claim that more than 1,800 people have contacted the station to protest the show's airing in the first place.
The controversy is similar to criticism the St. Petersburg Times faced when it included copies of the controversial documentary Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West with editions of its newspaper.
Though supporters said the film focused on the excesses of extremists, other Muslim advocacy groups said the documentary was an attempt to turn Americans against all Muslims, distributed to newspapers across the country in swing states during an important election year.
Equality Florida has organized around outrage over the documentary, holding a statewide online town hall last week and asking members for $25 donations to help fight future airings of the program. A Facebook page advocating boycott of WFLA has drawn about 500 members.
Turns out, broadcast of the documentary may have helped organize gay people in Florida more than ever -- a rather ironic result.
Check out a sample of the documentary below: