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
"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.
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.
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
Patty Bouvier, is the character to come
out of the closet, announcing she wants
to marry a pro golfer.
article is from the February 23,
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in Adelaide, South Australia. It
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