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New York-area radio hosts apologize for fake note chastising gay couple

(Reuters) - Two New York area radio hosts have apologized for talking on-air about a note they fabricated from a fictitious parent chastising a supposed same-sex couple over their child's birthday invite, and the broadcasters admitted they kept on with the lie even after it took on a "life of its own."

Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson of Long Island pop music station WKJY, also known as K-98.3, posted the apology on Friday on the station's website.

"This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us," Harper and Karlson wrote in the post. "This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership."

The two on-air personalities, who host a morning show at the station, talked about the note on their program on Wednesday.

The fake note was posted to the station's Facebook page, according to The Advocate, a gay-themed magazine.

In the note, a fictitious mother wrote two gay parents on a seventh birthday invite for a girl named "Sophia" that her son "Tommy" would not attend their daughter's party, according to the magazine. "I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle,'" the note said.

The post with the note on the station's Facebook page has since been removed. The story, when it surfaced earlier this week, led Internet users to express outrage at the content of the message.

Harper and Karlson wrote in their apology that they made the note with the goal of spurring a "healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic."

"We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a 'life of its own,'" they wrote.

A representative for WKJY could not be reached for comment.

According to television station News 12 Long Island, the radio station WKJY's management said in a statement that it has responsibility to listeners to be accurate and is looking at "all courses of action."

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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