July 1999 – Airing both sides of a controversial issue wasn’t much of a consideration to the many PBS and other public television stations that were planning on airing the pro-homosexual film, It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School. Virtually every station that intended to air that video refused to air AFA’s video response. AFA produced a 30-minute video entitled Suffer the Children: Answering the Homosexual Agenda in Public Schools.
“So much for the free exchange of ideas which is supposed to be the hallmark of public television,” said AFA president Donald E. Wildmon. “Homosexual activists and those sympathetic to that movement only intend to present one side of this issue – and it won’t be ours. The religious and moral views of millions and millions of Americans just don’t count on public television.”
It’s Elementary is a slick production meant to instruct public school teachers how they can teach children – as young as elementary school age – that “gay is O.K.” The video camouflages its real message of acceptance of homosexuality under the guise of “respect for all.”
“This is now a standard tactic of the homosexual movement,” said Wildmon. “By promising to protect kids from anti-gay violence, the message in these classrooms winds up being that people who think homosexuality is unnatural or morally wrong are hate-filled bigots who are responsible for anti-gay violence.”
The producers of It’s Elementary have had tremendous success getting the film into the hands of those sympathetic to its message. The video has been shown in nearly 500 college and university teacher training programs, and in faculty and staff in-service training in over 200 public school districts.
Early on, AFA alerted its supporters (AFA Journal, June, 1997) to the potential dangers of It’s Elementary. But when AFA discovered that the producers of that video were successfully lobbying a large number of PBS stations to air it, AFA produced Suffer the Children, which critiques the method and message of It’s Elementary.
At press time, less than half of the normally liberal-minded public television stations in the U.S. had committed to air It’s Elementary. In order to balance that presentation with another viewpoint, AFA offered to provide a free, quality copy of Suffer the Children to every public station.
However, only two public stations in the country (KIXE in Redding, California, and KCTS in Seattle, Washington), had definitely decided to air Suffer the Children.
Some stations, like WCET in Cincinnati and WBGU in Bowling Green, Ohio, refused to air AFA’s video, but did invite a representative from AFA to sit on a panel discussion following the airing of It’s Elementary.