Anti-LGBT Rights Groups See Tony the Tiger Destroying Traditional Family Values
But It Started Earlier

In a definitely more innocent time of late 1950’s, I would sit cross-legged in my flannel pajamas anticipating Mighty Mouse with his cape to come swooping into our living room.  Every Saturday a.m., I would wait with bated breath to watch the brave little mouse beat the bad guys.
I even remember part of the show’s theme:
            Mr. Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this Mighty sound
            Here I come to save the day!
            That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!
            Yes, sir, when there is a wrong to right,
            Mighty Mouse will join the fight.
Mighty Mouse Resurrected in Late 80’s-90’s

I was excited to see that Mighty Mouse, like a prodigal son, returned to television briefly so my children could experience the same Saturday morning pleasure. However, now television didn’t seem so innocent.
On June 6, 1988, two weeks after my daughter was born, Donald Wildmon, head of American Family Association (AFA), the right-wing traditional family organization, decided that Mighty Mouse in The Littlest Tramp was sniffing cocaine out of a crushed flower.  Honestly! 

Also, two male mice who were showering together were thought to be homosexual. And I thought Mitzi Mouse was Mighty’s girlfriend all these years! After a brief rerun on Fox Kids in November 1992, Mighty Mouse disappeared from kids’ lives.
AFA Criticizes Bert and Ernie Too!

What could be cuter than Bert and Ernie snuggling on their couch as they watch on their television the SCOTUS decision when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 and Section 3 of DOMA, defining marriage for only heterosexual couples?  This home-spun sweet scene was depicted on the cover of the New Yorker (July 8 and 15, 2013) by Jack Hunter.

Despite the fact that Bert and Ernie were considered a secretly gay couple over the years, although Sesame Street denied the rumor, and 10,000 in 2011 signed an online petition urging the couple to get married, once again the AFA took to the airwaves to rant. See my blog on the topic (’s-a-Punch-and-Judy-Show/.
Bert and Ernie were criticized by Bryan Fischer, a Christian radio host of “Focal Point” and Director of Issues Analysis for American Family Association, who insisted that the magazine cover “Moment of Joy” promoted child abuse and child endangerment and that the couple were depicted in a “homosexual clinch.”

AFA Working Itself Into a Lather Over Tony the Tiger Now!

More recently, Kellogg, a very LGBT-friendly company, was criticized by guess who?  Kellogg’s sponsorship of Atlanta’s Gay Pride March and support of LGBT community has the AFA incensed once again.  The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index gave Kellogg a perfect score for diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices and policies.
Yet, AFA is “bent out of shape” about Kellogg’s ad that features Tony the Tiger, which said “wear your stripes with pride.”  “At Kellogg, the ad says, “ we’re an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees’ sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged.” Kellogg is not the only well-known company to pitch pro-LGBT ads.  (Burger King, Honeymaid, Starbucks, to name a few).
“The Child Is The Father of The Man”

Truth is children don’t have a problem with same-sex marriage.  Adults do.  “You have to be taught to hate.”
Would it be a better world if groups like the American Family Association stopped assigning their agenda to fictional characters?  In the words of Tony the Tiger, it would be G-R-R-R-E-A-T!

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

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