A petition has received thousands of signatures urging TLC to cancel the “19 Kids and Counting” show after reports surfaced that the stars were promoting discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. The petition, on Change.org, had received over 68,000 signatures by Thursday and aims to reach 100,000.
"End LGBTQ fear mongering by the Duggars," a letter posted on the petition page said. "The Duggars have been using their fame to promote discrimination, hate, and fear-mongering against gays and transgendered people. You need to take a stand on the side of justice and cancel their show."
The petition was launched by Jim Wissick of San Jose, California, against the show, starring conservative Baptists Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and their children. The controversy, which has been simmering for a long time, flared up last week after The Duggars’ Facebook page deleted a photo of John Becker, editor of the LGBT blog The Bilerico Project, kissing his boyfriend, which had been posted in response to a campaign on the show's page.
The Duggars had posted a photo of themselves kissing and encouraging other couples to share their own pictures, but later took down the photo posted by Becker and also blocked him from the reality show’s page, E! News reported. The Duggars have also been criticized for having links to several anti-LGBT groups. Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the family, is reportedly the executive director of the anti-gay Family Research Council’s legislative group, FRC Action.
Wissick, the creator of the petition, also claimed that the family donated nearly $10,000 to revoke equal housing rights for the LGBT community.
The reality TV show debuted in 2008 and was called “17 Kids and Counting” at the time. Season 9 of “19 Kids and Counting” began in September and is still airing.