One of the more stridently anti-gay voices on the religious right offers a new reason why more and more young Americans support marriage equality: TLC's reality series "Say Yes to the Dress."
Sandy Rios, a radio host for the conservative American Family Association, said television shows like "Say Yes To Dress" are giving Americans are a skewed picture of homosexuals.
"Our children, for the most part, have heard nothing but positive things about homosexuality and its effects," Rios said Friday on her morning radio program. "It’s kind of fun. We see 'Say Yes to the Dress,' which by the way I love, and we see the gay characters on that and the one in Atlanta and the one in New York and ... it is the face of the homosexual community that is only pained with a positive brush when those of us that have been involved in issues related to this know that there’s a very dark side, that this is not a good thing for people ultimately in their lives and it is a destructive force."
This argument, that television programming might be normalizing homosexuality, is not new. But it is interesting that Rios fixates on a show that, by and large, celebrates heterosexual marriage. Apparently, the (mostly straight) bridal experts of the prestigious Kleinfeld salon are not only making dream weddings come true, they are also carrying out a subversive, pro-gay campaign.
Rios evidently considers this a form of brainwashing that, she cautioned on Sunday, has permeated the education system and is harming children. Schools, she said, are "forcing little children to be educated, they call it educated, I’d say sexually abused by information their little ears are not ready to hear. In states where homosexual advocacy is strong this is exactly what’s happening."
Of course, Rios has often used her radio program to sound off on various anti-gay theories. In February, she claimed gay-inclusive curricula were to blame for lower test scores in schools. And in March, she revived a decades-old rumor that Hillary Clinton is secretly a lesbian.