If you thought there was some chance that the public could force Jim Bob Duggar and his 19 Kids and Counting clan to stop their behavior toward gay and transexual people, you were wrong. If you thought that shining a light on the kinds of things they say about people who live and love differently than they do might squeeze some conscientious reaction out of the television network that carries their show, you were wrong.
Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle have made no secret of their opinions about gay and transgendered people. Michelle Duggar famously lent her celebrity to the fight against a Fayetteville, Arkansas city ordinance that would allow transgender persons to use the public restroom appropriate to their sexual identity. She recorded a robocall message for the opposition campaign, saying:
“The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes I said men – to use women’s and girls' restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only. I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls."
Duggar’s casting of transgenders as “males with past child predator convictions” was offensive to many. And many responded when an online petition asking TLC to cancel the Duggars’ 19 Kids and Counting reality show was posted.
“End LGBTQ fear mongering by the Duggars,” the petition read. "The Duggars have been using their fame to promote discrimination, hate, and fear-mongering against gays and transgendered people. You need to take a stand on the side of justice and cancel their show.”
The petition founder noted something that Michelle Duggar may not have thought about before making her incendiary statements:
“Transgender people — who are far more likely to be the victims of harassment and violence if forced to use a bathroom that is inconsistent with their gender identity or expression— deserve to have the ability to use the bathroom in peace and safety."
But the petition, as popular as it was, has not had the effect people hoped.
“They won’t succeed," Jim Bob Duggar said. "Our show is the number one show on TLC. We love everybody. It’s a small group creating this fuss. All it has done is give us more exposure. We’ve gained 50,000 Facebook fans last week. God is expanding our borders through the national media."
Recently, one of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s new in-laws, Michael Seewald, took to his own blog page to outline his thought-out polemic about why gay people are an abomination.
There’s no danger of the “homosexual agenda” undermining the Duggar family. But if your transgender daughter has to use the bathroom on the way through Fayetteville, Arkansas, you might have to drive on. Tell her the Duggar’s love everybody, but they won’t let her stop to pee there.