Gays and lesbians have made strides toward equality in recent years. But it’s still a big story when someone notable “comes out of the closet.” Just last week, All-American defensive lineman Michael Sam made headlines by announcing he’s gay. Despite inroads by the LGBT community, gay rights remains a sensitive subject.
Long Island radio station WKJY created a hot button topic by staging a controversial hoax.
This week, the station’s morning team of Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson posted a story on their Facebook page about a boy from Baldwin, N.Y., having a birthday party next month. The page showed the invitation to the boy’s party and a mother’s angry R.S.V.P.
Scrawled at the bottom, sides and back of the invite, the mom wrote: “Tommy will NOT attend. I do not beleive [sic] in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.'” The ramblings continued with the mother saying, “If you have an issue or need to speak to me…” and added her phone number.
The story is getting the attention of many outlets and websites locally and overseas.
Under fire, Harper, who is also WKJY’s program director, and Karlson posted an apology on the station’s website Friday saying they faked the story “to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic.”
Instead, the hosts got swept up in a firestorm.