The ad condemns “homophobic incidents” and notes that many of them appear to be motivated by “religious belief.”

Which, naturally, means a pool of blood and a Bible:

The ASA upheld complaints that the ad suggested Christians were responsible for the rise in attacks because it only showed Christian symbols, as well as the complaint that it implied all homophobic incidents were violent, under ‘decency and truthfulness’ guidelines.

The GPA also did not provide the watchdog with evidence to support the 74 per cent increase claim and the ASA ruled the ad breached ‘substantiation’ guidelines.

They said: “The leading implication of the ad was that Christians were the perpetrators of the reported incidents. because of that implication, we considered it likely the ad would cause offence to those readers who were Christian.

“The GPA had intended to use shocking imagery to highlight their point about the rise in homophobic incidents [but] by featuring spilled blood prominently, the ad suggested that all the reported incidents involved physical injury.”

A spokesman from the Gay Police Association said the ad was meant to be “thought-provoking and challenging.” I can think of one way they might have made it even more thought-provoking and challenging.

Are we looking at another bait and switch in the New York Times mold here?

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Update: John of Verum Serum comments below:

I tracked this whole thing down a couple weeks ago. The 74% figure was derived from a helpline run by the GPA. They received 14 calls in 2005. 14! This was a 75% increase over the 8 they received in 2004.

But it gets better (or worse). These calls were all calls from gay policemen about “workplace discrimination.” So far as anyone can tell there was not a single violent incident in the bunch. It was stuff like, “So and so refused a gay cop as a partner.” Furthermore, the Christian policmen’s group verified that not all the (14) incidents involved Christians. The GPA never released any detailed info so no one really knows how many did exactly.

Tags: New York