TLC (once referred to commonly as The Learning Channel) has received a lot of flack recently for its upcoming special My Husband’s Not Gay. Over 70,000 people have added their signatures to a petition at Change.org calling on the network to cancel the show. The TV special in question follows four married Mormon men who are attracted to their wives, but are also attracted to other men. From GLAAD:
“This show is downright irresponsible,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm’s way.”
Josh Sanders of Virginia Beach, VA started the petition and states exactly why TLC should cancel the program:
The program “promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities.” Sanders is a gay Christian man, who was once subjected to so-called “reparative therapy,” a harmful practice that aims to “turn” gay people straight, and which nearly every major medical authority has denounced as both dangerous and ineffective. “I was promised I could change, and told that I should ‘pray the gay away,'” he says. “In the end, the only thing that this so-called ‘therapy’ did was stoke a growing despair that maybe my life wasn’t worth living.” (Via)
TLC is a network known for featuring programs about child beauty-pageant contestants, hoarders, people with strange sexual addictions, polygamists and morbidly obese people just to name a few. According to Deadline, the network has released a statement replying to the petition.
“TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment,” countered the network. “The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”
Whatever the case, all of this hullabaloo can only bode well for the network as the public’s awareness of the program has skyrocketed due to the controversy. My Husband’s Not Gay is set to premiere on Sunday, January 11th.