Tony Perkins Lashes Out at US Tourism Ad for Featuring Gay Couple

The ad promoting tourism to the US seemed innocuous enough, but Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warns that the advertising campaign is being used to “highlight same-sex attractions.” The Discover America ad highlights diversity in the US, including a song by Rosanne Cash and images of an interracial couple, two Muslim women in a city and people celebrating the Hindu festival Holi. But Perkins is peeved by its attempt “to celebrate homosexuality” by featuring a man with his arm around his partner on a bus for almost two seconds.

Perkins claimed that the ad depicts “a country of radical values and backwards priorities” for including “so much cultural baggage”:

A new batch of U.S. travel ads should send some leaders packing--permanently. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. In 236 years, America's never had an international tourism ad. So when Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, people thought it'd be a great chance to highlight American attractions. What they didn't know is that it would highlight same-sex attractions. That's right. The commercial invites people to America-not to see the Grand Canyon, but to celebrate homosexuality. In one scene, a gay man is sleeping on his partner's shoulder in a trolley. The actors said they were specifically recruited to add a "homosexual presence" to the commercial. According to Brand USA, the ads were supposed to "open up some minds as to what America really is"-which, based on this commercial, is a country of radical values and backwards priorities. I suppose this is part of the President's push to "rebrand" America. It's just too bad he used a travel ad to feature so much cultural baggage.

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