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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 24 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 34
SpongeBob is Gay, Ukrainian government says
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SpongeBob is Gay, Ukrainian government says

Popular children's cartoon may be banned from national TV by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

SpongeBob SquarePants is a Gay cartoon, Ukraine's National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality said on August 16, and therefore it should not be allowed on Ukrainian national television.

The commission did not reveal how it reached this conclusion.

According to a report in the UkraĆ­nskaya Pravda newspaper, the commission has been studying TV cartoons and has determined that many of them 'present a threat to children.'

The report also criticizes The Simpsons, Family Guy, Pokemon, Teletubbies, and Futurama, calling them 'projects aimed at the destruction of the family and the promotion of drugs and other vices.'

Teletubbies, says the report, 'deliberately aims to create subnormal [individuals], who spend all day in front of the television with their mouths open swallowing all types of information,' allegedly indoctrinating young viewers with the 'psychology of losers.'

In addition, Japanese anime series display 'a clear example of sexist propaganda,' the report adds.

DAMAGING TO CHILDREN?
According to Ukrainian psychologist Irina Medvedeva, children aged between 3 and 5 who have been exposed to cartoon series 'pull faces and make jokes in front of adults they don't know, laugh out loud, and repeat nonsense phrases in a brazen manner.' Presumably, Ukrainian children who do not watch cartoons are more sedate.

Formerly a republic of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became independent in 1991. Since then, political power has shifted back and forth between pro- and anti-Russian factions.

Same-sex relations were decriminalized soon after independence in 1991, and gender reassignment surgery was legalized in 1998. However, the Ukrainian constitution does not protect sexual orientation or gender identity and explicitly defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Ukraine's first Pride Parade was held in Kiev, the capital, in 2003, but in 2008 authorities prevented public activities marking the International Day Against Homophobia at the request of a coalition of religious groups.

In 2010, Ukrainian Interior Minister Serhiy Holovaty announced that he is Gay. He was followed some months later by a member of Parliament, Oleh Lyashko.

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