One of America’s coolest brands risks alienating the gay community after its links with an organisation that fights against equality were questioned.

Family Equality Council, an group that works for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, has written to TiVo to express concern that the company is sponsoring a competition run by Focus on the Family.

TiVo is a similar service to Sky+, a PVR (personal video recorder) that captures TV shows onto a hard disk for later viewing.

TiVo Inc. employs 400 people and had a turnover of $272m (£138m) last year.

Focus on the Family is notorious for its work against gay rights and LGBT families.

“Aligning yourselves with Focus on the Family for the “I Know a SuperDad Essay Contest” sends the message that you support anti-LGBT politics and the hate speech Focus on the Family regularly spreads,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council.

“It furthermore says to the millions of LGBT parents, their family members and friends in this country that you do not think gay dads can be “Super Dads,” an assertion we know from the very real experiences of our lives to be completely untrue.”

James Dobson heads Focus on the Family, which claims to be a non-partisan organisation that “nurtures and develops families.”

In reality it is opposed to same-sex parents, and has been accused of falsifying and distorting research to confirm their opinion that gay and lesbian families are deficient.

“James Dobson, routinely makes false claims about gay and lesbian parents,” Ms Chrysler said.

“In his 2004 book Marriage Under Fire, Dobson wrote that “more than ten thousand studies” support mom-dad families as the best for children, an assertion now widely debunked both by Dobson’s lack of citation and the fact that LGBT families can show 30 years of scientifically valid research demonstrating that our children do just as well as children raised by heterosexual parents in all key areas of childhood development.

“Dobson has also made such outrageous and offensive statements as: Same-sex marriage would lead to “marriage between daddies and little girls, between a man and his donkey,” as well as the destruction of the family and Western civilisation entirely.

“I encourage you to recant your support of this contest, and want to inform you that despite the exclusive nature of this contest gay dads, their children and family members who love them from around the country will be submitting their nominations regardless of Focus on the Family’s disavowal of their worth.”