An anti-LGBTIQ+ group has criticised US broadcaster PBS after it aired an episode of Arthur that featured a gay wedding.
The popular cartoon series aired the same-sex wedding episode earlier this month, which revealed that teacher Mr Ratburn was gay and getting married to another man, in a positive step towards LGBTIQ+ representation in television.
Despite widespread praise for the episode, ‘One Million Moms’, an offshoot of the ultra-conservative American Family Association, have created a petition to have the show cancelled.
In a letter on the group’s website, the ‘moms’ claim they have received more than 18,000 signatures calling on the PBS to cancel the cartoon.
“Discussion of such controversial topics and lifestyle choices should be left up to parents,” the letter reads.
“PBS Kids should not introduce this to young children. Just because an issue may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct.
“PBS Kids should stick to entertaining and providing family-friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.”
In a statement, PBS said the moment was crucial in accurately reflecting diverse communities .
“PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation,” PBS said.
“We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day.”
Arthur has been on the air since October 10, 1996, and is the longest-running children’s animated series in the U.S.