Australia irate over gay couple in kids' show

Sydney - Australia's conservative government hit out at the national broadcaster on Thursday for portraying a lesbian couple on a popular television show for pre-school children.

The show Play School aired on Monday by the publicly-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) showed a story about a girl going to a fair with her two mothers.

"I'm Brenna. That's me in the blue. My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement park," the little girl says over images of her two mothers smiling and waving.

The show aired just days after Prime Minister John Howard - who faces elections later this year - announced legislation that would outlaw gay marriages and prevent homosexual couples from adopting children from abroad.

The federal minister for children's affairs, Larry Anthony, accused the ABC of promoting the views of a minority in Australia with the Play School episode.

"As a parent I am concerned that the ABC are putting on these types of programmes," he said.

"When it comes to my children, when I want to explain about same-sex couples, it should be up to parents, it should be up to me, not the Australian broadcaster.

"I think it's important for those programme producers to ensure that they are not just responding to minorities," he said.

"There is a responsibility to parents and I don't think it's appropriate."

A spokesperson for ABC said the Play School episode reflected contemporary society. - Sapa-AFP

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