Rat Rage

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The biggest LGBT story of this cycle had to be the marriage of Mr. Ratburn to another “man” on the animated PBS show Arthur. Launched in 1996, Arthur is the longest-running kid’s cartoon on TV, and Mr. Ratburn, a rat, is the longtime schoolteacher. The wedding was a lovely affair, good times had by all, and, yes, an important moment in the annals of children’s television. But then came the inevitable “response” from the religious Right, which used an outfit called One Million Moms to issue a fairly standard statement of outrage, which was picked up by those media outlets that get outraged by this kind of thing. The strategy of putting forward a group called One Million Moms probably made sense, but let there be no mistake: this is a front group for the American Family Association, which is officially listed as a hate group. For the record, the AFA puts out a magazine with 182,000 paid subscribers, so already the numbers are never going to add up. But even if there were a million moms opposed to the Arthur marriage, there are around 25 million mothers with school-aged children in the U.S., which leaves 24 million who are okay with Mr. Ratburn’s marital status.

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