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OfflineStonedShroom
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Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples
    #3690071 - 01/27/05 08:33 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?coll=news_articles&sernum=2005/01/26/1&page=1

LGBT organizations strongly criticized the nation's new secretary of education for her handling of a cartoon on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) that features four lesbians in one episode.

The unaired episode of "Postcards from Buster" shows the title character -- a cartoon bunny -- on a trip to Vermont's maple sugar farms. While visiting, Buster meets several characters, including two lesbian couples. (Vermont is also known for recognizing same-sex civil unions.)

On Tuesday, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings attacked the show in a letter to Pat Mitchell, PBS president and chief executive.

"Congress' and the [Education] Department's purpose in funding this programming certainly was not to introduce this kind of subject matter to children, particularly through the powerful and intimate medium of television," Spellings wrote.

The education secretary then demanded a refund of government money that had funded "Postcards from Buster."

PBS responded the same day, saying the nonprofit network would not distribute the episode to its 349 stations.

"Ultimately, our decision was based on the fact that we recognize this is a sensitive issue, and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time," said Lea Sloan, vice president of media relations at PBS, in a quote published by the Associated Press (AP).

LGBT organizations decried the move.

"Gay families should not be censored and hidden by the Bush Administration," said Dave Noble, head of the National Stonewall Democrats. "Our families are the normal neighbors of millions of fellow Americans. Yet, in an episode that does not even mention gay issues, the portrayal of an actual family is viewed as a shameful threat by this White House. The Bush Administration is not only attempting to segregate our families into a second-class status in law, but in the public mind as well."

"The secretary's first act in office denies children an education about the diversity of American families," said Human Rights Campaign Political Director Winnie Stachelberg in a prepared statement.

"Teaching children about respect for differences promotes tolerance of their fellow human beings. Those are the values our children should be learning. Instead, Secretary Spellings is sending the message that differences should be concealed. This creates a dangerous environment for children's growth," Stachelberg added. "Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth are disproportionately at risk for suicide. Creating a climate in which children are taught that differences should be feared does nothing to promote understanding for peers."

WGBH, the Boston public television station that produces the show, has not changed course following Spellings' actions. The station plans to air the episode March 23 and make it available to other stations.
:sad:


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: StonedShroom]
    #3690323 - 01/27/05 09:40 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I don't understand why sexual references need to be made in childrens cartoons anyways. Not that its wrong, its simply inappropriate. Convince me otherwise and then I will debate the whole gay thing.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3690336 - 01/27/05 09:44 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

how is it a sexual reference? Couples are a fact of life, sexually driven or not.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: vampirism]
    #3690377 - 01/27/05 09:52 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Exactly, how is a depiction of a lesbian couple more of a sexual reference than the depiction of a husband and wife?


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: vampirism]
    #3690448 - 01/27/05 10:03 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Well you are probably right. Having not seen the show, i was probably jumping to conclusions. However, a child does not generally see a male/female couple on TV and even consider the factor of sexuality. That is why I think trying to incorperate gays into a children's cartoon would be more of a reference to sexuality than anything whereas a male/female relationship is thought to be more like a family/parent association.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3690709 - 01/27/05 10:42 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I don't think a child is going to think sexual things when he sees lesbians on TV.

Unless he's an early bloomer.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: StonedShroom]
    #3691281 - 01/27/05 11:55 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

What are lesbian couples doing in a cartoon anyway? I disagree with the decision, but it's for kids. I've yet to even meet a lesbian couple (that I know of as being a lesbian couple) in real life, why do they need to include one in the cartoon?

They should know that with the society of America today this wouldn't be accepted, gays can't even get married, less likely appear on children's cartoons.


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InvisiblePaou
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Ravus]
    #3691322 - 01/28/05 12:00 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Some people do know lesbian couples(I've met a few myself), and it's best if kids learn to accept them rather than condemn them for being different. If they're exposed to them on such a casual basis, they're less likely to be judgemental of them. Remember, some kid in their school might have two moms, and you can bet that those kids are gonna get their asses kicked unless the other kids learn to be more open-minded about such families.


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3691843 - 01/28/05 02:10 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Catalysis said:
I don't understand why sexual references need to be made in childrens cartoons anyways. Not that its wrong, its simply inappropriate. Convince me otherwise and then I will debate the whole gay thing.




I totally agree.


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #3691869 - 01/28/05 02:24 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

The_Red_Crayon said:
Quote:

Catalysis said:
I don't understand why sexual references need to be made in childrens cartoons anyways. Not that its wrong, its simply inappropriate. Convince me otherwise and then I will debate the whole gay thing.




I totally agree.




How is simply being gay "sexual"? If that's the case, than so is being straight. Fact of the matter is, there are millions and millions of gay people in the world and like it or not, you and your kids are going to interact with at least some of them in some way. And guess what, you're not going to "catch the gay" or go to hell for it either. Shocking but true!


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InvisiblePaou
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: unbeliever]
    #3691912 - 01/28/05 02:38 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Exactly. Everyone has a sexual orientation, but they're not constantly engaged in sexual behavior.


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Offline13eetleJuice
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3692227 - 01/28/05 04:46 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Catalysis said:
Well you are probably right. Having not seen the show, i was probably jumping to conclusions. However, a child does not generally see a male/female couple on TV and even consider the factor of sexuality. That is why I think trying to incorperate gays into a children's cartoon would be more of a reference to sexuality than anything whereas a male/female relationship is thought to be more like a family/parent association.




You're appearantly missing the whole point probably in part because you have a prejudice against gay couples. I'm not saying that you are being conciously prejudiced but you obviously have some subconcious issues with this that you may or may not be aware of. I come to this conclusion because you self admittedly say you see a male/female relationship to be more of a family relationship whereas you do not see a same sex partnership in this light.

I think that's the whole point of including this in the cartoon is to teach children from an early age that gay couples are just as much a family as a straight couple. I think they chose to insert this into cartoons in order to teach children these things so they can form such an opinion before they get bombarded by the prejudices of the world.


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Offlineendokrin
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Ravus]
    #3692658 - 01/28/05 10:27 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
They should know that with the society of America today this wouldn't be accepted, gays can't even get married, less likely appear on children's cartoons.




So, Americans who believe in something which is currently being repressed by the government should just lay down because their beliefs clash? If we did that, nothing would ever change.
************************************************************************

Maybe gay couples shouldn't be portrayed in a cartoon for children, but maybe you and I think that only becuase we never saw it in a cartoon either.

If you don't think this sort of thing should be shown to children, the question arises: When, then, is the appropriate time to introduce to children the fact that gay couples exist?

Should we keep them on the "straight" and narrow? Should we expose them only to the sexual orientation of the majority, ignoring any minorities? Is it better, to produce a more 'stable' child, that we teach them as little as possible to get by, hoping they can make it through childhood and begin to form their own opinions? This 'condensed soup' approach is likely to produce failure: Campbell's condensed tomato is much cheaper and easier to produce, but wouldn't you rather have Progresso's Chicken with Wild Rice?

Where do we draw the line between simply exposing a child's mind to all the possibilities out there in the world and forcing our own opinions upon the young mind? In my view, selectively limiting the information a child receives is in itself a form of 'opinion shaping'. By not exposing the child to certain facts of life (in this case, gay couples), you are admitting to the child that the only real, correct form of union is the marriage between a man and a women. What do you expect to happen when this child grows up and begins to form his/her own opinions? Will the result be what you hoped for? Will this person enter the world with an open mind, free of prejudices and hate? No, he or she will be biased, will be prejudiced, and this will stem from a fear: fear of the unknown.

The answer, I believe, lies somewhere in the realm of: It should be up to the educated, informed parent of the child to choose when it is appropriate, based upon that parent's beliefs, to expose the child to such facts as gay couples. I would hope the parent would choose sooner rather than later. I can assure you the answer does not lie, however, in the hands of the BuSh administration.

Education is the key! The more you know!


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InvisibleSoopaX
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: StonedShroom]
    #3693312 - 01/28/05 01:55 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

If this show is going to be aired, how did they "yank" it?

What if this cartoon featured some KKK members? Would you all be in favor of that as it's just showing the multiplex of interesting characters that live in our world?


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: StonedShroom]
    #3693348 - 01/28/05 02:08 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I don't understand why people think children shouldn't learn about sex until a certain age. It's dumb.


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Offline13eetleJuice
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: SoopaX]
    #3694250 - 01/28/05 06:41 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

That's a mighty fine comparison of gay relationships to the Klu Klux Klan. Oh yes, of course you're absolutely correct. Those damn gays are just as evil and as much a plague on the human race as a bunch of redneck white supremesists running around in bedsheets stringing up "them niggers" from oak trees. [/endsarcasm]


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: 13eetleJuice]
    #3694290 - 01/28/05 06:53 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Apperantly im just not being clear enough. My point is I don't understand why we are even having this discussion. I don't understand why people are making a direct effort to include various sexual preferences in a children's cartoon. As if we have some kind of duty to "sensitize" them at an early age for living in our culture.

Basically, I don't think cartoons and entertainment are the right medium to attempt to "acclimate" our children. Besides the fact that when I just want to sit down and watch some fun TV with my kid, I don't want to start having a discussion about why suzy likes to lick pussy. I don't care if its straight or gay, thats what I mean when i say its simply an inappropriate forum. There is a time and a place for that stuff.

To be perfectly honest, I actually don't mind one way or another. Im trying to present the typical parent's opinion which is somewhat understandable to me.


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Offline13eetleJuice
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3694306 - 01/28/05 06:57 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I totally agree with you on that very valid point. I think cartoons should be merely for the child's own entertainment but as you can see our government has a hand in that just like everything else. The government funds PBS to "educate" the children through use of these cartoons and if PBS doesn't teach what the government wants they will as you can see refuse to fund them. Propaganda some might say.


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: 13eetleJuice]
    #3695018 - 01/28/05 08:56 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Yes, you are totally right and that is a boundary that i am finding hard to even define where i stand. I am an avid supporter of smaller government and less intervention in our lives. However, just recently i have begun to understand people who would simply prefer not to be bombarded by sexuality everywhere they go. There is something to be said for non-sexual, non-violent, good entertainment. I guess its because i have sex on a daily basis that i like to enjoy non-sexual moments in life. Im afraid of that type of entertainment being replaced by people who want to get a hard-on from superbowl half-time shows and pseudo-reality shows.

Ideally, people should use thier own judgment to know what they are watching and make the decision to watch it or not. That would take government control totally out of the picture and put more responsibility on people, which i always like. The only problem is people slipping in certain things like this cartoon show which kind of threatens the whole honor system. Lets face it, the most likely reason for putting lesbians in a children's cartoon is to make a point about sexuality where as putting a male/female couple would simply make sense because the child's parents are probably a male/female couple. You can make the argument that gays can adopt etc., but i think you see my point.


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Offline13eetleJuice
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Re: Bush Administration Yanked PBS Cartoon for Showing Lesbian Couples [Re: Catalysis]
    #3695302 - 01/28/05 09:56 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

No, I don't see your point. Whats the difference if in a cartoon as the kids are out playing and riding thier bikes down the street they pass by a married heterosexual couple on the sidewalk and say the female has her arm around her husbands waist and he has his arm around her shoulders and they are both facing in the direction of the street watching the children but obviously sharing a moment of casual embrace between one another. Now, take that same scenario and insert a homosexual couple who are doing this very same thing. How is this example, any different, wrong, or in threat of this honor system you speak of?


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