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COLUMN: Disney to be applauded for introducing same-sex family

The Book of Paul


Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 22:02

I'm not a person who frequents the Disney Channel for entertainment. I'm way past the days filled with sing-a-long moments with my favorite animated characters, and I never got into any of the sitcom-style shows that now fill the schedule of that station. That being said, I don't know anything about the plot of "Good Luck, Charlie."

But lucky for me, the Internet exploded in controversy last week, and it was enough to pique my curiosity. And I was not happy with what I found — a sad reflection of where society is heading.

I'll brief you, my fellow Aggies. The Disney Channel made a creative decision to take small steps into a more progressive era by introducing its first official same-sex couple on an episode of the show, approaching the topic in what to me seemed a subtle way.

Two lesbian mothers brought their child to the home of the titular character, portrayed by 5-year-old Mia Talerico, for a scheduled playdate. The couple entered the home, and the children began to play. That was it. In that 58-second clip, no plagues were released upon the house for the deviancy of these two caring parents, and God did not smite them for any sins. Life continued on.

And doesn't the world continue to revolve around the sun when these situations come up in real life? The answer is an infallible “yes,” but modern society being what it is — filled with faceless Internet bullies and people who think the tough issues go away if they are ignored — had a lot to say about this controversial issue.

For starters, little Mia has an Instagram account managed by her mother. Adorable pictures of the aspiring actress — those showing her with her co-stars, her dogs and her family — can be found there. What else can be found there, you ask? Oh, just the run-of-the-mill death threats that go along with such controversy. No big deal.

Except she's only 5 years old. What kind of world do we live in where people threaten a 5-year-old and tell her she should kill herself because her show featured a same-sex couple?

Other groups chose to lash out at the Disney Channel itself. One Million Moms, an organization that protests "the trash in today's media," is astounded Disney would dare to feature such characters — you know, those that reflect real people, real situations and real households. The group released statements saying Disney "should stick to entertaining, not pushing an agenda."

Who's pushing an agenda when the children of those in the One Million Moms organization come home from school and ask why their friend Taylor has two moms? Who's pushing an agenda when your 5-year-old son asks why his friend Adam has one dad named Mike and another dad named Stephen and no mommy around?

One Million Moms released the following statement: "Conservative families need to urge Disney to avoid controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend." While I agree such an issue would be difficult for a young child to wrap their head around, I believe this organization is underestimating our kids who want to know the answers to these tough questions.

I wonder what these concerned parents would tell their own children if a similar situation arose.

Would they tell their kids not to socialize with classmates who have same-sex parents? And what would their reasoning be? Are kids with gay parents more likely to join a gang, cause havoc and run amok? I doubt it — the only gang-related violence those children would be more likely to be introduced to would be that from the Broadway musical "West Side Story," but doesn't all that choreographed dancing and emotional singing invalidate the knife fights?

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