A US television network has been slammed for banning an ad promoting a gay dating site yet accepting another from an anti-gay, pro-abortion group set to air during next Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast.

The CBS network has been asked to publicly explain its advertising standards by the American LGBT media advocacy organisation, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

The ad for ManCrunch, a Canadian-based gay dating site, shows two men watching football and eating potato chip on a couch who then end up kissing after their hands touch in the bowl.

CBS said in a letter to the dating site that the ad “is not within the Network’s Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday” and that it was also unable to verify the company’s credit status. ManCrunch insisted that it was prepared to pay the $2.6 million fee upfront.

The network did, however, accept a 30 second ad from the Focus on the Family group which features American football star Tim Tebow and his mother talking about how she chose not to abort him in face of health warnings.

“CBS has a problem when they do something like this at the same time as they allow an anti-gay group like Focus on the Family to place ads during the Super Bowl,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “This network should come clean to the public about what’s going on because this seems to be a homophobic double standard.”

In 2004, CBS refused to air an ad during the Super Bowl from the gay-friendly United Church of Christ which sought to promote an anti-discrimination message, saying at the time that it had a “longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising”.

The network said that it has now changed this policy, which is why it has accepted the Focus on the Family spot. It also claimed that it would today have accepted The United Church of Christ ad under its new guidelines.

The broadcast of the National Football League’s Super Bowl, reaching more than 90 million viewers, is one of the most sought after advertising spaces in the US.

View the ManCrunch ad below.

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