While reporting on workplace discrimination bill, Fox 31 showed unrelated images of same-sex unions


During a report on a bill in the state legislature that would "ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation," KDVR Fox 31 showed unrelated video of what appeared to be same-sex marriage or civil union ceremonies. The legislation described in the broadcast applies only to workplace employment practices.

During a May 1 morning broadcast, while co-anchor Steve Kelley reported on "[a] bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation," KDVR Fox 31's Good Day Colorado aired stock video footage of ceremonies apparently involving same-sex couples. Despite the fact that Senate Bill 25 applies strictly to discrimination in the workplace, Fox 31 displayed a series of images depicting the controversial issue of same-sex unions as a backdrop to its report.

Sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Veiga (D-Denver) and Rep. Alice Madden (D-Boulder), SB 25 would amend Colorado statute to include a ban on discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and religion. The law would exempt religious organizations that do not receive public funds. As the Rocky Mountain News reported on May 1, Republicans have cited the bill in accusing Democrats of "pushing a 'social agenda.' " Colorado Media Matters has noted several examples of media outlets repeating the conservative talking point that Democratic legislators emphasize "divisive social topics."

From the May 1 broadcast of KDVR Fox 31's Good Day Colorado:

KELLEY: A bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation also gets initial approval at the Capitol. If it gets final approval today, the bill then goes to the governor's desk. Governor Bill Ritter says he will sign it into law; and if he does it will become law on the ninth try by Senator Jen Viega. She is the only open lesbian on the legislature.

During Kelley's voice-over, Fox 31 showed images of what appeared to be same-sex marriages or civil unions, including same-sex couples exchanging rings and kissing at the apparent conclusion of a ceremony, above the caption "Gay rights, discrimination."

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