Music Video with More Than 100 Children's TV Characters Attacked by Anti-Gay Activists

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Anti-gay groups accuse a music video, with over 100 children's TV heroes such as SpongeBob SquarePants, of being a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda.

The video's makers say the music video - a re-recording of the Sister Sledge hit "We Are Family" - is to promote tolerance and diversity to America's children.

Dr. James C. Dobson, co-founder of the pro-Family Christian Ministry Focus on the Family, singled out SpongeBob at a black-tie dinner for members of Congress in the run-up to G.W. Bush's inauguration on 2005 Jan 18, according to The New York Times.

Dobson told the guests that the cartoon sponge had been enlisted in a "pro-homosexual video" that was going to be mailed to thousands of elementary schools promoting a "tolerance pledge" that included a reference to "sexual identity."

The video's creator, Nile Rodgers, who wrote the disco hit "We Are Family," told The New York Times that Dobson's objection stems from a misunderstanding. Rodgers said he founded the We Are Family Foundation after the 9/11 attacks to create a music video to teach children about multiculturalism. The video has appeared on television networks, and nothing in it or its accompanying materials refers to sexual identity. The pledge, borrowed from the Southern Poverty Law Center, is not mentioned on the video and is available only on the group's Web site.

Rodgers suggested that Dobson and the American Family Association might have been confused because of an unrelated Web site belonging to another group called "We Are Family," which supports gay youth.