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Character comes out as gay, gets married on 22nd season premiere of ‘Arthur’


A character on the long-running animated children’s series “Arthur” comes out as gay and gets married in the show’s season premiere.

In the 22nd season premiere of the PBS kids’ show, Arthur, an aardvark, and his friends mistakenly believe that their third grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is poised to take the plunge with his abrasive sister, a character voiced by actress Jane Lynch.

{mosads}The group of animals, not knowing she’s Mr. Ratburn’s sibling, object to the union, saying their teacher deserves “to be with someone who is nice, kind, fun to be with — someone who likes him just the way he is.”

They’re then surprised to see Mr. Ratburn walk down the aisle with another male character.

“Mr. Ratburn is married — I still can’t believe it!” exclaims Arthur after the nuptials.

“Yup, it’s a brand new world,” another character replies.

“PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation,” the network said in a statement to ITK. “We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day.”

The move to feature a gay character and wedding comes more than a decade after PBS pulled an episode of another of its children’s series, “Postcards from Buster,” after then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings attacked the show about an animated bunny for featuring a visit with a family with two mothers.

“Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life-styles portrayed in this episode,” Spellings wrote in a letter to PBS’s president at the time. The episode never aired.

GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group, lauded the “Arthur” scene on Monday, tweeting a congratulatory message to the new couple.

Tags Arthur LGBT PBS PBS Same-sex marriage

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