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Huge Gay Threat to GOP

Boston.com / A&E / TV / Sweet ‘Buster’ is far from radical — All hell is breaking loose over this new cartoon series on PBS. The Government is again getting involved. I thought the Republicans stood for LESS Government in our lives. Am I missing something here?

Good Editorial from Globe here.

This week controversy hangs over the PBS show ”Postcards from Buster,” produced locally by WGBH. Buster is an animated character whose visits to children around the country are shown in live-action segments. The children are the focus. But in an upcoming episode called ”Sugartime!” Buster visits a girl who lives on a farm in Vermont. Her parents happen to be lesbians; the show explains how maple syrup is made.

PBS President Pat Mitchell initially approved the episode, but eventually PBS officials decided not to distribute the program to its stations, to protect it from the brewing controversy. WGBH plans to air the episode and will give it to other stations that want it. After PBS had already decided not to distribute the episode, a sharp slap came from Margaret Spellings, the new federal secretary of education, who sent a letter objecting to the episode. The show gets some of its funding from the education department.

In an hilarious mn, the right questions are asked:

What is the specific nature of the content that the Secretary of Education is objecting to? What exactly happens in “Sugartime!”?

The animated character Buster Baxter meets real kids. In this episode he is in Vermont … [he] meets kids with two moms. The moms are not central to the story, the kids are. But their family structure seems to be what has triggered the concern.

Is there any nudity in “Sugartime!”?

No.

Is there any sexual contact between the two women? Romantic contact? Do they kiss, touch, grope each other onscreen?

No, no, no, no and no.

Is the word “lesbian” or “gay” ever used in the episode?

No, no.

How about “dyke”?

No.

How do we know that the couple pictured are lesbians?

One of the kids introduces her mom and stepmom, and Buster comments that she has a lot of moms. That’s pretty much it. Remember, this is a show from a kid’s point of view, not an adult’s.

Is “maple sugaring” actually code for some sort of sexual practice between women?

Not that we uncovered.

Is the lesbian couple married under Vermont’s civil union law? Does the issue of marriage come up in the episode?

There is no mention of the women’s status and marriage is not mentioned. We know from meeting and talking with them off-camera that they are in a civil union.

related link:

Alabama pulls plug before controversy started.

If PBS hadn’t pulled an episode of a children’s show featuring a lesbian couple raising a child, it still would not have aired in Alabama.

Alabama Public Television’s executive director, Allan Pizzato, said Friday that APT had opted to pull the episode of “Postcards From Buster” several days before the PBS announcement.

According to media reports, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings wrote a letter to the president of PBS asking that the public money spent on the episode be returned.



  1. Mike T says:

    The Republicans only stand for less government in our lives when it comes to helping people. They don’t want to do that. They are, however, all for telling people how to live their lives and enforcing their view of morals. Zieg Hiel, Republikans.

    Mike T

  2. Jason says:

    “I thought the Republicans stood for LESS Government in our lives. Am I missing something here?”

    What you are missing is the P in PBS. The government looking into a government program isn’t an expansion of government.

  3. Rich says:

    I have to be honest, I am sick and tired of this supposedly “representative” government we have telling us, the people it represents, how to live our lives in areas that have no impact on the overall picture. The show is simply depicting what is out there in the real world, not the fantasy ultra-conservative Christian-colored version of the world that the White House and it’s occupants think it *should* be.

  4. Paul says:

    It it totally unimportant to the whole story … why even put it in there, they have editing abilities .. they have OTHER maple sugar farms .. why run this one?

    Sure if my kids saw it they wouldnt run around wanting to be with 2 mommies … but it is the whole concept, not needed.

    1) Public Television — everyone has a right to be upset (both sides)
    2) Is it over rated Yes, but you knock down 1 wall … the second one is easier
    3) Yawn

  5. Sarah says:

    Blah, blah, blah as a Christian I am offended, not by the show, or any of the issues, but by the “bubble living, super paranoid people” who have to make such a big drama about something so minor in the big picture of society. When they do this the rest of us level headed Christians get blamed and can never be taken seriously.

    “The show is simply depicting what is out there in the real world, not the fantasy ultra-conservative Christian-colored version of the world that the White House and it’s occupants think it *should* be.”
    Yep, I’m a Christian and yep I’d let my kids watch the show. We live in a world full of all kinds of people and I’d rather my kids live to learn in the world next to all of society than hidden in a bubble. Whatever I feel about homosexuality doesn’t matter. First, I dont think my kids would think twice about 2 mommies. And second, if they did ask it wouldn’t be any more of a problem than it would be to explain someone who is from a different religion, or child whose parents aren’t married, or any of the many other things that are different than my personal beliefs. I trust myself enough to teach my children what I believe and why, and then let them see the world for what it is. Can’t we as Christians find something bigger and better to whine about. (eye roll)

  6. Bob says:

    Tolerance is not Acceptance.

    The US is a tolerant society and the people in it should be willing to tolerate, to a degree, lifestyles that are different from their own. This, however, does not mean that people in this society should ACCEPT every alternative lifestyle thrown at them. The ‘Buster’ episode is unacceptable for exactly this reason. Most of mainstream America is tolerant of the gay lifestyle, but not ready to fully accept it as a mainstream choice. Sticking a controversial topic like gay civil union, even as a background item, is inappropriate for a children’s show, period. The public’s outrage has a lot less to do with the fact that the two women were in a civil union, and a lot more to do with the sneaky, inappropriate introduction of the topic into a kids educational show. Many people do not want their kids taught that gay civil unions are acceptable.

    Please note that I didn’t mention where I personally stand on this topic :-)

  7. Julie says:

    I don’t think it should be aired. We all have to see homosexuality all evening because there is at least one homosexual character in each of the sitcoms today. I don’t appreciate peope forcing my children to see a homosexual couple on a cartoon. I am a born again Christian and I am taught in the bible that it is wrong and I also am teaching my children it is wrong. I am not teaching them hate or cruelty toward Homosexuals but I am not teaching them to just except the lifestyle. I have a right to do that. Homosexuality is not a race, or a special right-it is a choice. If we are to be tolerant towards everything than is PBS prepared to air cartoons that have Christians in them?

  8. Justin says:

    I would like to make a few observations….

    Julie (response #7): “I am not teaching them hate or cruelty toward Homosexuals but I am not teaching them to just except the lifestyle.” — Notice the lack of a comma in that sentence. Notice the use of the word “except.” I hate to point these things out, but grammar is in fact an indicator of one’s educational level.

    This very show has aired episodes about various forms of Christianity – even Pentecostal holiness. Therefore, your argument towards the end of your statement holds no value because the show is in fact showing children all aspects of diversity in America (including the majority).

    I agree with you on the fact that it is sad how many sitcoms have GLBT actors/actresses, but for different reasons. I have better faith in PBS of showing children what most gay people are truly like — everyday people rather than all being AIDS-infected, promiscuous, hellians — than I do in parents like you.

    This show merely exhibits all the differences in our society. If you’re afraid that your child will believe and accept everything s/he sees on TV, then why aren’t you fighting against every show they air that isn’t about the life of a WASP (white Anglo-saxion protestant)?

    Hypocrites….