For the past six weeks or more, a group called the Family Values Coalition has been waging an all-out campaign to stop Nickelodeon from airing a “Nick News” special called “My Family Is Different” that examines the problems faced by gay parents and their children. The Coalition claims the show is “nothing more than pure promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Despite over 100,000 protests from outraged individuals and organizations, Nickelodeon aired the program anyway. They never once faltered in the belief that showing it was the right thing to do.

Of course, no one at the Coalition has actually seen the show “My Family Is Different,” which broadcasted Tuesday the 19th, 2002, at 9:00 PM EST. Maybe if the Coalition had taken a look, it would have discovered that the show not only features children and adults from both sides of the issue (gay and anti-homosexual,) but it also emphasizes tolerance, respect and diversity…things no one can argue with.

Linda Ellerbee, the veteran journalist who hosts the program, says at the beginning of the show, “My Family Is Different”' is “not about sex. It does not tell you what to think.” Rather, she adds, it is “a good starting place for a family discussion about this issue.” She couldn’t be more correct. “My Family Is Different” does not get into the right or wrong of homosexuality from a religious or social perspective. It acknowledges that in certain faiths, homosexuality is viewed as a sin, but it goes on to point out, through young Christians and Muslims, that those same faiths stress tolerance for one and all.

The issue at hand is not homosexuality as a lifestyle, but instead the problems kids face when their parents are gay; the verbal and physical abuse that they sometimes get from classmates at school and inconsiderate adults. While the main discussion takes place between Ellerbee and a group of young teens, there are also comments by adults of varying viewpoints, from Rosie O'Donnell to Jerry Falwell.

This program, in my eyes, is a wonderful step in the right direction for humanity. If tolerance can be reached, then so can acceptance, and eventually, equality.


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