Friday 07 August 2020

Jehovah’s Witnesses cartoon about marriage upsets gay groups

A still from the video

A still from the video

Gay rights campaigners have called on the Dutch branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organisation to remove a YouTube video in which a mother tells her daughter gay couples will not go to paradise.

The film features a little girl asking her mother about a drawing by a friend which features two mothers. The mother quotes various verses in the Bible to explain to her daughter that marriage is between men and women.

However, she continues, people can change. ‘Some things you have to leave behind,’ she says.

‘The packaging is sweet but the message is bitter,’ said Philip Tijsma of gay rights lobby group COC. ‘You cannot change from being homosexual to heterosexual.’

Gay man Wesley Bakker told news agency ANP he planned to make a formal complaint about the Jehovah’s Witnesses for discrimination. ‘My partner and I have two children,’ he said. ‘I hope to goodness they are not confronted with this at school.’

A spokesman for the religious organisation said he had no problem with the negative reactions. ‘Publishing the film is part of our right to freedom of speech,’ he said. It is not the organisation’s aim to insult people ‘and I do not think that is what the video does’, he said.

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