A recent ad campaign for Expedia featuring a father accepting his daughter’s same-sex marriage has caused controversy on the travel website's Facebook page. A slew of homophobic comments denouncing the video as “disgusting” and an “abomination” came from Expedia patrons.
“Every trip is unique. On this trip, Artie Goldstein travels across the country to attend his daughter's same-sex wedding,” reads the Expedia ad’s YouTube description. “… A journey that will test him, challenge him, and ultimately change him in unexpected ways."
The video titled “Find Your Understanding: Expedia Find Yours” boasts nearly 850,000 views since it was uploaded on Oct 2. Despite the angry reactions, the poignant video has almost 5,000 likes as opposed to just over 155 dislikes on YouTube.
When the video was posted to the Expedia Facebook page on Oct. 3, reactions weren’t as warm. “Find Your Understanding” has 1.4 million likes and 30,000 comments, but many users found offense in the video’s content.
“When you give a life that is pleasing to GOD you will lose some famliy and friend but whatever you lose for his sake he will give you a hundredfold!” claims Donnie L Owens. “If GOD is not pleased I'm not.We as christian's have to teach our children the word of GOD and stop condoning sinful behavior!”
“Glad I was able to see this,” writes Reggan Simons. “I book all the business trips for our office and will no longer be using Expedia. This commercial is unrealistic and denies the real turmoil a family experiences with the issue of homosexuality.”
“I don't believe in same sex marriage, my belief tells me it is wrong in the presence of God. My belief also tells me that I am not called to judge no one for that is God's job,” says Ines Reynoso. “I am called to love my fellow man as I live myself. This was touching, God Bless that father for loving his daughter unconditionally because that is what we are called to d[sic]. Love conquers all.”
Not all of the responses were hateful. Some users who identified themselves as Christians accepted the sentiment in the advertisement.
Timothe R. Lambert states: “I am a Christian and go to church and I shouldnt approve of this but you know I do because no matter what she is and will always be his Baby Girl.”
Jerome J. Crenshaw claims homosexuality is, “Not the natural desire for your Daughter, but, for Love sake ... you Love her and tolerate her growth and directions of choice!!!”
“What a beautiful video about true love of a parent and their daughter,” comments Jim Berns. “Thank you for sharing this, and thank you expedia for promoting it.”
"At the heart of Artie’s story is the idea that travel is deeply personal," Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said to the Huffington Post according to Yahoo. "We’ve built our entire brand behind that idea."
The “Find Your Understanding” ad follows retired business owner Artie Goldstein as he and his wife attend the wedding of his lesbian daughter Jill. Goldstein remember’s Jill as a baby, and says that he had imagined her choosing to be with a man in her life.
"When Nikki came to ask permission to marry our little girl, that startled me,” Goldstein says in the video. “I told her, 'This is not the dream I had for my daughter."I didn't say yes, I didn't say no."
Goldstein says that he found his understanding in the situation when he saw how happy his daughter and her bride to be were.
Yahoo News reports that this is the second stance Expedia has made with gay marriage. The company supported Referendum 74 last month, which looks to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington State, where Expedia is based.
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