NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - For the first time, a children's TV network is featuring a "married" gay couple.
Cable television network Nickelodeon, which broadcasts programming geared toward children and adolescents, is scheduled to air an episode Wednesday of their new show "Loud House" featuring two men in a same-sex "marriage."
In the episode "Overnight Success," main character Lincoln Loud opens his front door to greet his best friend and the friend's parents — an interracial gay "married" couple. Prior to meeting the pair, Loud quips, "This is it. Time to make history." He then addresses the parents as Mr. McBride and Mr. McBride.
The 50-second clip portrays the two men as doting, overprotective parents, with the one Mr. McBride lamenting, "He's growing up so fast."
A spokesman for Nickelodeon refused to comment on the show, which has already aired in certain international markets, instead asserting the network would prefer the episode speak for itself.
The inclusion of the couple has been met with much praise on social media, being described as "incredibly cute" and "wonderful," with one Twitter user declaring, "God bless Nickelodeon."
While the event does mark the first time a Nickelodeon program has featured a gay "married" couple, LGBT themes have already made their way into children's shows on several other networks, beginning over a decade ago. The PBS show "Postcards from Buster" produced an episode in 2005 featuring a lesbian couple and their children. The show sparked controversy, prompting the U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to demand PBS return the federal funding that had been utilized in the production of the episode and resulting in the resignation of the CEO of PBS.
"Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode," Spellings stated in a letter to PBS.
Although the majority of PBS member stations did not air the program, select affiliates opted to broadcast the program during primetime.
In 2014, a Disney Channel show, "Good Luck Charlie," featured a lesbian couple in its final season, followed shortly by Cartoon Network airing a scene in their show "Clarence" featuring two men kissing.
Individuals affiliated with other children's programs, including ones that are airing or have aired on Nickelodeon, have admitted certain characters were intended to be associated with the LGBT community, although this was generally displayed offscreen or subliminally.