For the first time ever, Disney Junior program features gay couple

A popular preschooler cartoon is tackling the issue of single-gender parents, as Disney Junior’s “Doc McStuffins” features two lesbian-doll moms in an episode that aired on Saturday.

“Doc McStuffins” is about a young girl with dreams of becoming a doctor. In preparation, she runs a playhouse clinic, treating dolls and stuffed animals. In the latest episode, titled “The Emergency Plan,” two lesbian mothers are faced with a dilemma. An “earthquake” separates the family, and Doc McStuffins helps them reunite and prepare for such events in the future.

Voiced by lesbian actors Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi, the doll moms represent an openly lesbian couple, presented for entertaining consumption by small children.

The LGBT community was thrilled with the network’s decision to air the episode. GLAAD vice president Zeke Stokes said Disney is “breaking new ground” and “teaching valuable family lessons.”

Conservatives disagree. On the One Million Moms site, they argue just the opposite:

“Disney Channel has questionable content at times, especially when it portrays kids showing disrespect towards parents and adults. However, many still consider it a family-friendly channel since it is a network created for children, particularly the Disney Junior division, which is primarily for preschoolers.

“Just because an issue may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct. Disney should stick to entertaining and providing family-friendly programming instead of pushing an agenda.”

Reportedly, “Doc McStuffin’s” creator, Chris Nee, is a lesbian mother herself. When asked if she planned to include subtle messages about acceptance in the show, she reportedly said her son has two moms and she wants to create characters that are “incredibly accepting of each other and whatever is happening in their life.”

“I think that classic story of gay kids is that you end up creating that family of friends and that’s always reflected in my work,” said Nee, who also wrote, “The Emergency Plan.” Nee said she’s proud to have an episode that reflects her world.

Another conservative site, Lifesite News, referenced a 2012 interview with Nee. At the time, she said television “boundaries” are always changing:

“It’s hard to know exactly where the boundaries are because they’re always changing in kids’ TV. I will say I have been incredibly surprised by how supportive Disney has been in the process of looking for press for this show. That’s a change.”

Disney isn’t shying away from the gay agenda in recent releases. During the finale of “Good Luck Charlie” in 2014, the focal point of the episode was a family with two moms. Last spring, a “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” episode included a scene during a concert where couples, including same-sex couples, kissed.

Another well-known break with traditional families came in Disney’s live action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Director Bill Condon announced that the film featured an “exclusively gay moment,” in which the character LeFou (Josh Gad) “wants to kiss Gaston (Luke Evans).”

Many conservative families boycotted the film, abandoning plans to watch it with their children after Condon’s remarks were made public.

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