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Kiss Contest Got Kiss-Off From Gays


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Kiss Contest Got Kiss-Off From Gays

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

February 10, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Madison, Wisconsin) It seemed like a good idea at the time - a Valentines' kissing contest to be held in a local mall with the winning prize a trip to Jamaica. But Madison radio station Z104 discovered itself at the center of a maelstrom of criticism from gays over the rules.

The contest would be open to opposite-sex kissers only.

"We called Z104 and verified that was their rule and they said it was something they weren't willing to change and that was the rule of West Towne," Franny Marion, support services coordinator for the University of Wisconsin Women's Center told WISC-TV.

Marion said gays and lesbians on and off the campus threatened to boycott the station and the West Towne Mall.

The ban on gay kissers became an instant topic on call in shows at other local station. Blogs quickly filled up with comments criticizing the station.

This morning station manager Jeff Tyler admitted that the station's "policy to exclude people from contests based on sexual orientation ... should not have been included."

But, Tyler said the rule wasn't entirely Z104's fault. He said that West Towne Mall officials had insisted on it and wouldn't budge.

The mall, however, says it isn't against gay kissing but that it is a place of commerce and remains "neutral" on the issue.

Nevertheless the contest is being moved to the chilly sidewalk in front of the station.

Prospective contestants must first listen to the station and be the 14th caller when they hear a promotion for the contest. Thirty couples in all will compete.

The kissing contest will begin at 10 am. Contestants must lock lips until only one couple is standing and kissing when the contest ends at 9 pm. If there is more than one couple there will be a draw for the free trip.

©365Gay.com 2006

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