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For GOP, baby pictures good, gay wedding pictures not

August 29, 2012|By Patt Morrison
  • Cast of "The New Normal," NBC sitcom about a gay couple and a surrogate mother. "Book of Mormon" Broadway star Andrew Rannells, left.
Cast of "The New Normal," NBC sitcom about a gay couple and a surrogate… (Associated Press )

So quaint, the notion of "party platform," planks hammered together to support a speaker and his or her vantage point, the way "stump speech" is said to come from the days when candidates stood on tree stumps to address the voters.

The 2012 GOP platform is no-way, no-how when it comes to abortion and same-sex marriage, but there’s a chink in that social-warrior armor:  There's nothing in it banning adoption by same sex couples.

Although party platforms can be at variance with the candidate’s own views, in this case it seems to be consonant with Mitt Romney’s stance on adoptions by same-sex couples, which amounts to, "fine."

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012

Even though he, like his party platform, is against same-sex marriage, he told Fox’s Neil Cavuto, “I know many gay couples that are able to adopt children. That’s fine. But my preference is that we ... continue to define marriage as the relationship between a man and a woman.”

Which means, under the Republican platform, it’s all right for a gay couple to be parents, but not spouses?

That’s right: here’s the former Massachusetts governor in the same interview:

"And if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child -- in my state [Massachusetts] individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that’s something that people have a right to do. But to call that marriage is something that in my view is a departure from the real meaning of that word.”

As the GOP is standing firm on its platform, in Romney’s semi-home state of Utah, which is one of five states to ban same-sex adoptions, there’s a little dust-up about a TV lineup and gay parents.

KSL, the Salt Lake City station owned by a parent company that is owned by the Mormon Church, won’t be airing a new NBC sitcom called "The New Normal," about a gay male couple working with a surrogate to have a baby of their own.

It’s not refusing to run it because of the gay characters, the station says: "We have viewed the pilot and this program contains sexually explicit content, demeaning dialogue and inciting stereotypes."

KSL has refused to carry other shows and series over the years, notably the venerable "Saturday Night Live," in spite of its grownup time slot and in spite of on-and-off criticism that the show has been tame and toothless.

[All of this becomes even more notable in an age when most people are only a mouse-click away from watching any program they please.]

And yet Utah, as of last year, was one of five states still prohibiting same-sex adoptions. [What Utah has to say about same-sex surrogacy, I don’t know, but maybe because it involves a business transaction, it might be all right?]

A poll last year by Equality Utah found that 52% of residents oppose standard adoption rights for gay couples, and 44% favored them. But, interestingly, a majority favored one member of a gay couple being able to adopt a partner’s biological child -- precisely the circumstance depicted in the sitcom....

A sitcom that stars -- in another absolutely delicious little touch -- Andrew Rannells, the Tony-nominated Broadway actor who played the young LDS missionary in "The Book of Mormon."

"The Book of Mormon," without Rannells, opens next week in Los Angeles. Maybe Romney can snag a couple of seats on the aisle while he’s here in town on his next fundraising trip.

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