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June-18-02

Tonight: Nickelodeon to Feature Story on Gay Parenting

Despite fervent protests by Christian fundamentalists, television network Nickelodeon will proceed tonight with its telecast of “Nick News Special Edition: My Family is Different”—a half-hour forum focusing on children of gay parents. Slated for the 9 p.m. slot generally watched by older children, the program is primarily a discussion among children, ages 10 to 15 years, in both gay and straight households. In addition, producer Linda Ellerbee will include discussion from entertainer Rosie O’Donnell, a gay New York City firefighter, a gay school principal, and right-wing televangelist Jerry Falwell. Read More About Falwell In Falwell’s videotape contribution, he admits that while “gay parenting is not overall a good thing… hatred is wrong, always.” Still, Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition, warns:“[The program] is a cover for promoting homosexuality for kids,” and consequently, parents can no longer trust the network’s content.

According to The Washington Post writer Tom Shales: “What’s scary about the kind of protest that has been mounted is that it seeks to suppress all debate rather than merely put forth a viewpoint; the protesters are saying that merely by acknowledging the existence of same-sex living arrangements, the producers are automatically encouraging them or advocating acceptance of them.” Nickelodeon’s chief executive Herb Scannell defended his network’s decision to air the show. “I thought it was in a territory that we’ve been before, in terms of looking at the world from a kid’s point of view,” he said. “The whole philosophy of Nick is that it’s tough to be a kid in an adult world.”

Media Resources: CNN 6/18/02; NY Times 6/18/02; Washington Post 6/18/02

   

     

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