Republican Doug Lamborn seeks to defund PBS over gay Arthur episode
Republican congressman Doug Lamborn is seeking to strip government funding from public broadcaster PBS after an episode of Arthur featured a gay wedding.
Lamborn, who represents Colorado’s 5th District in the House of Representatives, submitted a bill to defund the broadcaster on Monday (June 24) after an episode of Arthur revealed teacher Mr Ratburn getting married to another man.
In a column for right-wing website The Daily Signal, Lamborn fumed that “PBS writers deemed it appropriate to preach their liberal views on same-sex marriage to America’s young children.”
Republican congressman Doug Lamborn: Gay Arthur episode ‘an affront to religious Americans’
The congressman added: “Taxpayers now know with complete certainty that the goal of the PBS cartoon is to impart social liberalism to children.
“Enough is enough. It is time to stop sending our hard-earned tax money to support programming that is objectionable to many Americans.
“That’s why I’m reintroducing a bill to cut off all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS.”
Blaming the Arthur episode for his decision, Lamborn added: “Public media programming is becoming more antagonistic toward conservative and religious viewpoints.
“Parents and churches should be the ones discussing marriage and family with their children—not PBS. To target children in this way is a complete affront to religious Americans.”
The bill is the latest escalations of an anti-LGBT backlash against the episode, which was banned by Alabama’s public broadcaster and led to a campaign to cancel Arthur.
Arthur creator: Kids need to see what’s happening in the world
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Arthur creator Marc Brown previously defended the episode, and said the response to the episode was overwhelmingly positive.
He explained to Canada’s CBC: “It made me feel great that we were able to do something that was really helpful to so many people. Art reflects life, life reflects art, and kids needs to see what’s happening in the world.
“I’d hate to live in a world that was sanitised and censored. That’s something I can’t get behind.”
He added: “I’m not any different from millions of other families around the world that have people we love who are gay, young families, raising children.
“It makes me very sad that these young families are not well represented, or hardly represented at all in our media, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.
“One of the [episode] ideas we had was a teacher getting married, and the more we talked about it, the more we saw it as an opportunity for a learning experience, and a great way to represent another part of life that so seldom gets portrayed on television.”