A petition has been launched, urging PBS not to air a series of videos in celebration of Pride Month and "LGBTQ+" identities, which includes polyamory, demisexuality, transgenderism, and an openly homosexual minister.
"Sadly, PBS is proudly promoting a lifestyle that is unhealthy to both the individual who participates in the unnatural sexual behavior and to society as a whole," the American Family Association says in its petition.
Starting next week, PBS is set to launch "Prideland," a six-episode series of short videos exploring changing attitudes in the American South — the most socially conservative and religiously observant part of the country — toward several things that fall under the growing LGBT acronym. PBS is offering member television stations the chance to air a one-hour companion special program on June 12 that features the series host, actor and dancer Dyllón Burnside, who identifies himself as "queer."
The second episode in the video series is called "An Openly Gay Pastor's Journey to Acceptance in the Bible Belt" where Burnside speaks with an openly gay minister at a small church in Jackson, Mississippi. Rob Lowry was reportedly offered the job but only accepted the position on condition that he be able to lead the congregation as openly homosexual.
“Being a queer boy raised in the South, I had distinct memories of feeling like I could never be my authentic-self there, so I left seeking acceptance and affirming communities. But I never left my southern roots,” Burnside said in a statement.
“I wanted to go back as an adult and see if things had changed, and I’m proud to report that they have. Although there are still many challenges for queer folks in the south, which is home to more LGBTQ+ adults than anywhere else in the U.S., I’m in awe of everyone I met who are creating change in their communities. I believe that authenticity is a superpower, and these queer heroes and allies are truly inspirational.”
According to PBS, in the episode that follows, Burnside explores "Polyamory, Demisexuality, and Being Transgender in the South" where he meets with a diverse group of LGBT-identified people "to learn how to embrace sex positivity and maneuver the modern dating scene." The group reportedly discusses "asexuality, polyamorous relationships and how to manage diverging expectations in the queer community."
AFA's petition urges PBS, which is taxpayer-funded, to cancel its involvement in the series. The organization argues that the network's decision to push this content is an "unjust attack" on the Christian faith and mocks God's design for human sexuality.
"In 2020, PBS received over $65 million in taxpayer funding. This means you and I are directly paying for PBS to insult our faith and scoff at our God," the petition, which has over 52,000 signatures as of Tuesday, notes.
The PBS series "Prideland" begins May 26 and will conclude June 30.