Home > Co-Parenting, Lesbian > The Age – "Concern over ‘Gay School" by Anna Krien

The Age – "Concern over ‘Gay School" by Anna Krien

A popular children’s show has a story to tell and it’s not making some government ministers gay or happy.

The ABC’s show, Play School, on Monday aired the story of a little girl and her two “mums” to its young viewers .

“I’m Brenna. That’s me in the blue. My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement park,” the little girl says over images of her two mums smiling and waving.

Play School’s ‘Through the windows’ segment usually explores families from different ethnic, social and religious backgrounds.

But the broadcaster’s attempt to portray gay relationships – not often in children’s literature and television programming – has sparked a backlash.

Children’s Minister Larry Anthony said he fears the ABC was becoming too politically correct.

“I think it’s important for those program producers to ensure they are not just responding to minorities,” he said.

“I think Play School has been an excellent program but I wouldn’t like to see it become politically correct.”

Communications Minister Daryl Williams also had concerns, asking ABC managing director Russell Balding they be passed on to the board.

“The government understands that parents would expect a program like Play School to deal with issues which are appropriate for the age of its audience,” Mr Williams said.

“In particular, Australian parents should be able to choose when to explain concepts such as same-sex couples to their young children,” he said.

But Tracey Cocks, one of over fifty members in the Lesbian Mothers & their Children Playgroup, praised Play School for its ‘controversial’ move.

“You really feel it when television show families of various ethnicities and localities, but no same-sex parent families,” she said.

Miss Cocks shares the upbringing of her three-year-old daughter with her lesbian partner and two fathersl.

“We haven’t found any discrimination at all, if anything our daughter is someone to be jealous of at kindergarden. Once a child with a single parent complained ‘Why don’t I have a dad when she has two of each?”‘

Bill Muehlenberg from the Australian Family Association said he was outraged that Play School didn’t issue a warning prior to screening the segment.

“The show pushed the message that all relationships are equal. That there is nothing special about the mother and father,” said Mr Muehlenberg, adding that the ABC had no right to push its social agenda on to children.

Other ‘Through the window’ segments have explored a child’s christening, a Muslim family, and a child as bridesmaid at her grandmother’s wedding.

But Mr Muehlenberg said he drew the line at “sexual preferences and alternative lifestyles”.

“I don’t see anything wrong with something as innate as race… Now this is a different kettle of fish,” he said.

Australian Democrats senator Brian Greig said the ABC had a mandate to reflect modern life and culture.

“Gay and lesbian taxpayers, who pay their eight cents a day to the ABC, have a right to have their family structure seen in local content just like everybody else,” he said.

“I would hate to see us turn the clock back to a time where minorities were censored from Australian television as Aborigines and Asians and people with disabilities were once excluded from representation on TV.”

ABC’s Children’s programmer Claire Henderson denied was any emphasis of focus placed on any social issue.

“Any such constructions are adult constructions,” she said.

Back in Fitzroy, Tracey Cocks agreed. “It’s not a big deal for little kids. It’s just the adults who have a problem with us,” she said.

Gay activists lauded the ABC, saying it was Play School’s role to educate children about their world.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said for an increasing number of Australian children, their world included gay parents or friends with gay parents.

“The ABC has a responsibility to represent Australian society as it is, not as the government might want it to be,” he said in a statement.

“Responsible and effective children’s programming does not wrap children up in cotton wool. It educates and informs children in a way which helps them develop intellectually and emotionally.”

– with AAP

[Link: Original Article]

Advertisements
Categories: Co-Parenting, Lesbian
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: