by Frank Pallotta
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — TLC’s upcoming one-hour special “My Husband’s Not Gay” has caused an uproar before it has even aired.
The special — which spotlights a group of married Mormon men who are attracted to other men but don’t identify as gay — has caused outrage from organizations like GLAAD who find the themes of the show to be dangerous.
“This show is downright irresponsible,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to.”
The cable network has responded to the criticism surrounding the special saying that it follows TLC’s tradition of telling fascinating and true life stories.
“TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment,” the network said in a statement. “The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”
A Change.org petition has also been started that asks for TLC to cancel the special before it ever hits the airwaves.
As of Tuesday afternoon the petition had over 82,000 signatures.
“TLC is presenting victims’ lives as entertainment, while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be changed,” the petition reads. “This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith.”
On Tuesday’s “Good Morning America,” host Robin Roberts (who in 2013 publicly acknowledged that she was gay) also spoke out about the show.
“To even give the idea that it is a choice can be very dangerous,” Roberts said. “Especially for young people who are dealing with their sexuality and trying to figure things out.”
“My Husband’s Not Gay” is scheduled to air January 11 on TLC.