TLC’s upcoming special, My Husband’s not Gay, is already causing controversy even before it airs. The program, which features four Mormon men from Salt Lake who are attracted to men but don’t identify as gay, has drawn the ire of GLAAD and the rest of the LGBT community. GLAAD president, Sarah Kate Ellis, said that the show is potentially dangerous.
A Change.org petition is asking for My Husband’s not Gay’s cancellation has already gotten over 80,000 signatures. The petition was started by Josh Sanders, a gay Christian man, who agrees with Ellis’ comments that the show could be dangerous especially for the LGBT community as well as communities of faith. According to Sanders, 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.”
Sanders wrote, “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.”
A representative for TLC responded to the My Husband’s not Gay controversy by putting out a statement defending their programming.
“TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment," the network said in the statement. “The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”
My Husband’s not Gay is scheduled to air on January 11.