When Two Boys Kissed on Primetime TV

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Hayden Byerly as Jude in ABC Family's 'The Fosters.'
Hayden Byerly as Jude in ABC Family's 'The Fosters.' (ABC Family/YouTube)

Parents, you make a grave mistake if you underestimate the power of negative examples, especially through TV, movies, social media and Internet.

Second, these kissing and sex scenes are impacting children at a volatile stage in their sexual and emotional development, potentially leading to even greater confusion, not to mention sexual experimentation.

Remember, we're talking about developing children here, about kids who have not yet come into puberty (or who have just come into puberty), and now some of their favorite TV characters are acting out their homosexual desires, making for a whole new kind of role model.

I'm aware, of course, that gay-identified kids still get bullied in many schools across the nation, but I'm also aware that in many other schools, coming out as gay is seen as cool or even the thing to do.

This was confirmed to me by a very liberal-minded middle school teacher who told me about a 12-year-old boy who came out as gay in her class, only to come to her the next day and say, "I think I made a mistake. Can I take it back?"

Let that sink in for a moment.

Yet these are the very kids who will be influenced by TV shows like The Fosters.

Add to all this the influence of "Gay Straight Alliances" in middle schools and high schools, where kids are encouraged to "come out" to peers and faculty without their parents even knowing about it, coupled with the influence of Hollywood, the Internet and aggressive pro-gay school curricula, and it's all too easy for kids in these formative years to become even more confused about their sexuality.

And once they begin to experiment, especially at such tender ages, there's no telling what practices and behavior and desires might become a long-term part of their lives.

I'm not denying that most of those who identify as LGBT as adults say that their feelings never changed over the years. I'm simply pointing out that many people who thought they were "gay" eventually discover they are not.

One study I read found that roughly 25 percent of young teens interviewed thought that they might be gay, but 10 years later, the number of those who identified as gay was one-tenth that amount.

But how many of them engage in all kinds of sexual practices and relationships today because of their earlier sexual experimentation?

Third, not to sound prudish, but I'd be perfectly happy if there weren't any TV kissing scenes with 13-year-olds, even if the kids were as heterosexual as they come.

Leave It to Beaver and Lassie may seems a little cheesy today, especially to young viewers, and they certainly had their flaws, but I'll take the moral values instilled on those kind of shows over Glee or the latest reality show on MTV—unless, of course, you think Leave It to Beaver would have been better had 13-year-old Wally, Beaver's older brother, cuddled up to another boy and kissed him.

The very thought of it is repulsive.

Michael Brown is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire." He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.

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