TLC is facing growing criticism over the decision to air “My Husband’s Not Gay,” a one-hour special slated to air on Jan. 11, which follows a group of Mormon men who, according to the network’s description, “are happily married and attracted to their wives, but they are also attracted to other men. They refer to it as Same Sex Attraction… not gay, SSA.”
A Change.org petition protesting the special has amassed over 71,000 signatures urging TLC to cancel the broadcast. Josh Sanders, a gay Christian man, began the petition because he believes the show “promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities… The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Perhaps even more importantly, TV viewers need to know the horrific consequences of trying to change who you are. Instead, TLC is presenting victims’ lives as entertainment, while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be changed, or that you should reject your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith, and I call upon TLC to stop spreading such dangerous misinformation by cancelling ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ immediately.”
GLAAD has also condemned the special. “This show is downright irresponsible,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm’s way.”
TLC issued the following statement Tuesday morning: “TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment. The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”
Watch a preview of the special below.