November 7, 1996 in Features

Imbalance Taints Abc’s Report On Gay Weddings

John Martin New York Times Syndicate

ABC’s “Turning Point” at 10 airs a report that will offend millions as it attempts to impress viewers with its open-mindedness.

“For Better or Worse: Same-Sex Marriage” follows four same-gender couples who choose to make the same lifelong commitment that men and women in love make: marriage in traditional wedding ceremonies.

It’s a memorable, evocative report as we hear from gays and lesbians as well as from their parents and siblings.

The Rev. Robert Crowley, who defies Episcopal doctrine by performing a gay wedding before ABC’s camera, says, “It’s a matter of justice. To me this isn’t an issue of the blessing of gay relationships. This is a civil rights issue.”

Inexplicably, in the entire hour only one person, the sister of one of the lesbian brides, objects to same-sex marriages. Does this reflect the way the real world views homosexual marriages? Does a single Biblequoting voice balance the report?

Credit “Turning Point” for giving gay and lesbian couples a much-deserved opportunity to make a case for why they should be treated with equal compassion. But the effort is undermined by off-balance reporting.


“High Incident,” ABC at 8: When bad-boy Marsh (David Keith) is paired with Sullivan (guest-star Lindsay Frost) they immediately get involved in a shoot-out with bank robbers.

“Martin,” FOX at 8: As outrageous as it may be, this show can still make a relevant point. When Martin (Martin Lawrence) remarks on his talk show that any man can beat any woman at anything, Gina and Pam (Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold) challenge him a to little basketball - with help from members of the U.S. Olympic hoop squad.

“New York Undercover,” FOX at 9: In an emotional episode, Eddie (Michael DeLorenzo) gets dangerously involved with a smack dealer after his HIV-infected father dies of a heroin overdose. Also, J.C. (Malik Yoba) is investigated by social workers after G (George Gore II) lets it slip that his dad knocked him into a wall.

“Suddenly Susan,” NBC at 9:30: Six-time Emmy-winner Betty White guest-stars as a friend of Nana’s (Barbara Barrie) whom Susan (Brooke Shields) tries to get hired at The Gate. Big mistake. White is sharp as a tough cookie and puts everyone on the defensive.

“ER,” NBC at 10: Greene (Anthony Edwards) and Lewis (Sherry Stringfield), who has a fear of flying, are helicoptered to the scene of a crash involving a family van and a hay truck. The hour follows the frantic and often conflicted effort to save lives. Brace yourself for what producers say may be their best effort of the season.

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