Cumberland Times-News

November 1, 2012

Ad tells people to vote in a way that’s contrary to their intent

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I write with regard to an advertisement that appeared on page 2C of your Oct.28 Sunday edition. It was in a box and headlined, “Vote Yes on The Marriage Amendment — Keep Marriage with the Calm Waters of Diversity.”

I am not familiar with the group that paid for the advertisement. I couldn't locate it using internet search engines.

The advertisement by design or error misrepresents how to vote on Question 6, the “Civil Marriage Protection Act” in order to support the traditional definition of marriage, one man–one woman.

The advertisement urges those who want to support traditional marriage to vote yes. In order to support traditional marriage one must vote NO on Question 6.

The advertisement claims it represents the view of a diverse collection of religious groups including the Lutheran Church. I am a Lutheran and support traditional marriage. I have never heard of the group that paid for this advertisement.

I believe you have a responsibility to ensure that political advertisements you publish are accurate in content and that the claims of representation made by those who place the advertisements are true.

This advertisement by design or error instructs voters to vote in a manner that would be contrary to their intent, if they followed the instructions it offers. I hope you will publish a correction to the article in your future editions of your paper. I also ask that publish this letter as well.

It is possible that the advertisement was submitted with the specific purpose of confusing supporters of traditional marriage. It would have those who believed its content voting against traditional marriage, not for it.

Gary Hankins