Last month, five GOP senators wrote a letter to Charles Rivkin, CEO of the Motion Picture Association and Board Chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, requesting that the Board amend its current guidelines so that the federal ratings system would include warnings on content featuring LGBTQ characters and storylines.
The Republican effort comes on the heels of Florida’s recent parental rights bill, also dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The controversy over the bill also sparked a public feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney, which opposed the legislation. In what has been seen as a retaliatory attack, DeSantis stripped Disney of the self-governing rights it has had for more than 55 years in the state.
“As Christian consumers, we oppose the hateful idea of adding content warnings against televised depictions of LGBTQ characters, stories, and content,” the Faithful America petition reads. “Our faith tells us that all people — including LGBTQ people — were created in God’s image, have dignity, and deserve to see their experiences represented in popular culture.”
Faithful America is the largest online grassroots Christian organization in the U.S.
Addressing the members of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, the petition reads: “We applaud children’s TV shows that teach love rather than bigotry, and we ask that you resist the pressure from Senators Marshall, Braun, Cramer, Daines, and Lee and ignore their hateful, anti-LGBTQ request.”
The petition is aiming to counter the request “to show the board that these politicians do not speak for us as Christians and that consumers want kids’ programming to teach our children love, not hate.”
“Apparently kids can handle learning about a virgin birth, but not seeing two moms on TV — even if they regularly see two dads pick up their friends at school,” the Faithful America page reads.
The signees are not the only ones to speak out about the GOP letter. Brian Bond, the executive director of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National, previously told Newsweek that adding content warnings could have detrimental impacts on LGBTQ kids.
“Using censorship to erase the existence of transgender and nonbinary people harms kids—especially kids who are trans and non-binary or who have family members who are,” Bond said. “PFLAG National strongly advocates for books and programming that help children see themselves, their families and cultures represented.”