August 20, 2019

Is a Backlash to Gay Rights on the Horizon?

“Even with all eyes on Alabama these days, some alarming events there may not be getting the attention they deserve. Earlier this month, Alabama Public Television decided not to run an episode featuring a same-sex marriage on the PBS animated television series, Arthur. In the episode, Arthur and his friends attend the wedding ceremony of their teacher, Mr. Ratburn, and his male partner. “It’s a brand new world,” one of Arthur’s friends proclaims after the happy nuptials.

So it has seemed when it comes to LGBTQ rights in the United States, especially after the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. But this incident in Alabama — and similar developments across the country — suggest the state of gay rights in 2019 may not be all sparkling rainbows. In fact, even as public opinion polls have shown steadily increasing tolerance of homosexuality and support for gay rights, those historic developments cloud what is happening on the ground where a cultural resistance to homosexuality, emboldened by the anti-gay agenda of the Trump presidency, is gaining steam in spots throughout the nation. If that continues, there could be dire consequences for millions of LGBTQ Americans.

Executives at Alabama Public Television defended their decision not to run the Arthur episode, explaining that parents counted on the network to provide programming they could trust their children to watch without their supervision.”

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