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Mateo Mathieu
Jun 5th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Play School's lesbian tale sparks outrage

By Cosima Marriner

June 4, 2004

A story about a girl with two mothers that was screened on the ABC's Play School has sparked a political storm.

The acting Prime Minister, John Anderson, and senior Government ministers lashed out at the ABC yesterday for exposing young children to same-sex parenting.

The Communications Minister, Daryl Williams, called the ABC managing director, Russell Balding, to "express his concern" that the program had aired the segment. He asked Mr Balding to pass the complaint to the ABC board.

Just days after the Federal Government decided to ban same-sex couples from marrying or adopting children, the "Through the Windows" segment of Monday's episode of Play School featured a girl going to a fun park with her two "mums".

Mr Anderson said:

"This is a story that reflects the hopes and aspirations of some adults and in some ways seeks to justify and promote the idea of gay parenting. I think before the views, interests and perspectives of adult parents are put forward, the first consideration should be for the children who can't speak for themselves."

Labor, which has endorsed gay adoption, distanced itself from the broadcast. The party's family and community services spokesman, Wayne Swan, said: "I haven't seen the program but I'd be concerned if a children's program explored issues of sexuality, because that's a matter for parents."

Mr Balding refused to comment publicly yesterday, but a spokesman said the ABC stood by its broadcast.

The ABC's head of children's television, Claire Henderson, said the segment "showed one of the many types of family groups that exist in Australia today".

"Through the Windows" was designed to "reflect the variety of the contemporary world".

"Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations," Ms Henderson said.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, warned the ABC against becoming "too politically correct".

"I think I'm representing the majority of Australian parents," he said yesterday. "My kids watch Play School. I think it is an excellent production, but I think it's important for those program producers to ensure that they are not just responding to minorities . . . I don't think it's appropriate."

Ms Henderson dismissed claims the ABC was making a political statement about same-sex parenting as "adult constructions".

The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, who has three daughters aged 10, 12 and 14, said:

"I think that if I'd been watching it with my kids, I'd have been a bit shocked."

Books featuring same-sex couples are growing in popularity, said bookseller Christine Andell, who runs The Little Bookroom shop in Melbourne.

"Schools are much more interested than they used to be in showing these sort of books," Ms Andell said.

"School libraries do purchase the books, and there seems to be some interest in them.

"There is certainly more acceptance now and more interest than there was. It's a growing thing," she said.

Children's books featuring same-sex couples have become established in the United States, following the success of Heather Has Two Mommies, which is about to be published in its 10th anniversary edition.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/03/1086203566949.html#

Mateo Mathieu
Jun 5th, 2004, 01:26 PM
TV news is more offensive, says lesbian mother in Play School dust-up

By Freya Petersen

June 5, 2004

A mother who appeared in a segment of Play School with her female partner and eight-year-old daughter has hit back at critics of the program and the ABC's decision to air it.

Vicki Harding, whose appearance with her daughter Brenna and partner Jackie in a segment titled "Through the Window" on Monday attracted comment from the acting Prime Minister, several federal ministers and the Opposition, yesterday spoke publicly for the first time on the controversy.

Ms Harding said the segment, and the children's books she had written with funding from the State Government and councils, were less offensive than the average news bulletin. "There are no images of torture, or war, or violence, or poverty. There's no sex," she said. "I would like to think that some day we would get to a place where nobody will blink. It may take years."

She was responding to a political uproar on Thursday when the acting Prime Minister, John Anderson, and senior ministers lashed out at the ABC for exposing children to same-sex parenting.

The Communications Minister, Daryl Williams, called the ABC's managing director, Russell Balding, to "express his concern" and asked him to pass the complaint to the ABC board.

It was the second airing of the segment, in which a girl and her friend went to a fun park with her two "mums". Ms Harding said the first airing, in March, failed to elicit "a peep" from the media or the politicians who came out so strongly against it this week.

Ms Harding, who described herself as an activist on gay and lesbian issues, said her decision to appear was simply to provide her daughter with "confirmation of identity and position in the world - something most of her friends receive all the time".

Meanwhile, a leading academic in the field of gender studies, Michael Flood, yesterday bought into the furore, saying the reactions of politicians had been "hysterical and misguided".

"Seeing lesbian mums on TV does not harm children and simply reflects the diversity of family types in Australia," said Dr Flood, of the Australia Institute.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/04/1086203634088.html

SpikeyAidanm
Jun 5th, 2004, 01:29 PM
:rolleyes:

Some ppl also said teletubbies promoted homosexuality - such as a guy character (Tinky Winky) carrying a purse and also that he is purple - the colour of gay pride.

Only high class analysts would interpret a character in such a way, the majority of the audience would see that claim as utterly ridiculous...

Some people have far too much times on their hands :o

Wigglytuff
Jun 5th, 2004, 03:04 PM
these parents are stupid.

"exposing children to loving families will DAMAGE THEM"

thats what there are saying and thats how they sound.

DutchieGirl
Jun 5th, 2004, 03:14 PM
*start rant*

There was an outroar about something like this on Noddy too a couple of years ago. I was talking to one of my bosses at work about this on Friday (she has two young children... I think about 6 and 8 - so maybe a bit older than playschool age but still...) and she was saying she couldn't see what the big deal was and that it happens in society anyway. Plus as if the kids would have picked up on it anyway... I mean kids who watch playschool are what? 3, 4 years old...

I'm surprised there were no quotes from the big VC of the Family Ass. Bill Muelehnberg... he was on the news about it on Thursday night, that's for sure... but then anything to do with gay/lesbian couples he has to weigh into the debate... it's such a fucking joke! I mean I really feel sorry for kids who have parents that would make such a fuss about one fucking line in a show...

All the line was something like "X and friend are going to the fairground with her Mums" and it showed two kids skipping along in front of two ladies (who weren't even holding hands or anything for gods sake)...tell me a kid of 3 or 4 is likely to have even picked up on the "mums" reference!

*end rant*

DutchieGirl
Jun 5th, 2004, 03:15 PM
btw Spikey... the gay pride symbol is actually the rainbow flag...not even really purple... I see so many gay people with the rainbow flag on their car or other things... but nothing just of purple (although purple would be cool as it's my fave colour) :lol:

bionic71
Jun 5th, 2004, 03:40 PM
I happened to see a replay of the "lesbian tale" yesterday.
It was nothing....there is absolutely no reference to lesbians at all....such direct referencing would only come from an adult "reading into" what they see.
The only dialogue in the brief segment was the voice of a young girl saying..."I am going to the fun park with my two mummies". The rest of the segment showed the children playing in the amusement park. No child watching Playschool is going to be saying ..."Hey...check out the lesbian parents mum!" or "Thats all a bit odd".....

Tony Abbott saying saying he would be a bit "shocked" needs to get things into perspective. Personally, I am quite shocked when I see Mr Abbott on television myself....he is certainly far more offensive than a couple of women taking their kid and a friend to the park.

Grown-ups really need to grow up!

Wigglytuff
Jun 5th, 2004, 03:57 PM
Grown-ups really need to grow up!

:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

DutchieGirl
Jun 6th, 2004, 01:51 AM
hehe well... I just realised that Bill should be "Mule"hnberg anyway...coz he is an ass! ;) But serious it was adults making a whole fuss about nothing... as usual! ;)

decemberlove
Jun 6th, 2004, 01:53 AM
exposure might lead to tolerance and understanding . and we wouldnt want that :rolleyes:

Crazy Canuck
Jun 6th, 2004, 05:37 AM
"This is a story that reflects the hopes and aspirations of some adults and in some ways seeks to justify and promote the idea of gay parenting. I think before the views, interests and perspectives of adult parents are put forward, the first consideration should be for the children who can't speak for themselves."

Why must these people continue to insist that their concern is for the children and not for their own prejudice?

Oh, and how dare the network take into consideration their minority audience. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, right? :rolleyes: