Moral Backlash On Gay Simpsons
from NEW YORK
Hit television show The Simpsons has outed itself as a proponent of gay marriage, sparking outrage from conservatives and accolades from the US gay lobby.

Airing in the US on Sunday night, the hit animated series devoted an entire episode - There's Something About Marrying - to the controversial topic of same-sex weddings.

It began with the warning: "This episode contains discussions of same-sex marriage. Parental discretion is advised."

Fans indulged in an online betting splurge before the heavily promoted show aired over which character would be outsed as gay. It turned out to be Marge Simpson's chain smoking sister Patty.

She fell for professional golfer Veronica, but it didn't work out. Veronica turned out to be a man in women's clothing - he was unmasked at the altar, betrayed by a protruding adam's apple.

In the episode, Springfield legalises same-sex marriage to help its sagging tourism industry, and Homer becomes a mail-order minister and turns his garage into a wedding chapel.

Gay and lesbian entertainment lobby group AfterEllen welcomed the debate.

"It's refreshing to see a hit network TV show in prime time, watched by children and adults, serve up such a politically charged issue," said spokesman Sarah Warn.

Conservatives were outraged by the episode.

"At a time when the public mood is overwhelmingly against gay marriage, any show that promoted gay marriage is deliberately bucking the public mood," Parents Television Council president Brent Bozell said. "You've got a show watched by millions of children. Do children need to have gay marriage thrust in their faces as an issue? Why can't we just entertain them?"

Television columnist for The Hollywood Reporter and Simpsons expert Ray Richmond said the effects of the episode would be far reaching.

"The Simpsons' bestows upon something a pop-culture status it never had before, simply by virtue of being ripe for a joke," he said.

WHAT CAUSED THE CONTROVERSY
  • The episode begins with a news report which suggests Springfield is the least desirable town in the US
  • Lisa comes up with an idea to boost tourism - make Springfield a same-sex marriage mecca.
  • Mayor Quimby agrees because he can see money in the idea.
  • Reverend Lovejoy objects and bans the same-sex couples from his church. So Homer cashes in on the plan, making himself an Internet minister and his garage a chapel. The words "Queerly beloved begin the marriage ceremonies.
  • Homer's sister-in-law Patty Bouvier, is the character to come out of the closet, announcing she wants to marry a pro golfer.


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Disclaimer: This article is from the February 23, 2005 edition of The Advertiser in Adelaide, South Australia. It has been posted here for general information purposes and no profit is being made from this article. Visit The Advertiser/Sunday Mail website here.


 

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