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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Gay mums row hits Aussie kids show
Play School's Humpty (ABC image)
Play School is better known for its games
A children's TV programme in Australia has stirred up controversy with a storyline featuring a young girl's visit to the fair - with her two mothers.

"My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement park," the girl told viewers of Play School, over images of her two mothers standing together and smiling.

One person not smiling was Communications Minister Daryl Williams, who said it was inappropriate for a pre-school show to feature a lesbian couple.

"The government understands that parents would expect a programme like Play School to deal with issues which are appropriate for the age of its audience," he said.

Children's Minister Larry Anthony said the state-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which aired the programme, was becoming too politically correct.

"When it comes to my children, when I want to explain about same-sex couples, it should be up to parents," he said.

To add insult to injury, the show was broadcast just days after Prime Minister John Howard announced controversial legislation to outlaw gay marriages and prevent gay couples from adopting foreign children.

But the head of ABC's children's television, Claire Henderson, was not about to back down on her decision to feature gay mothers in the programme.

"Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations," she insisted.

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