The Duggar family's open discrimination toward the LGBT community might finally result in the cancellation of their TLC series, "19 Kids & Counting," if the tens of thousands of people who have already signed a Change.org petition have anything to say about it. The petition was prompted by reports that parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had removed images of same-sex couples from their Facebook page several weeks ago, after posting a romantic photo of themselves along with a call to other married couples to share shots of wedded bliss.
When photos of same-sex couples reportedly vanished, Jim Wissick of San Jose, Calif. created a petition to end "19 Kids & Counting," citing the Duggars' hostility toward LGBT people. "The Duggars have been using their fame to promote discrimination, hate, and fear-mongering against gays and transgendered [sic] people," Wissick's petition to TLC reads. "You need to take a stand on the side of justice and cancel their show."
So far, more than 160,000 people have signed Wissick's petition, despite the Duggars' history of public anti-LGBT discrimination. Earlier this year, Michelle Duggar embarked on a deeply hateful, transphobic robocall campaign that equated transgender people with child predators; her and Jim Bob's eldest son, Josh, is the executive director of the anti-LGBT group Family Research Council. The family has not kept quiet about its views before, and isn't keeping quiet now.
But as the Duggars' social media pages and TV claim to fame recieve more and more criticism, right-wing supporters have begun counter-attacks on the "liberal media's propaganda machine." In addition to promoting the hashtag #DefendTheDuggars, groups such as the American Family Association have issued pleas to sign a counter-petition in the Duggars' favor (Update: LifeSiteNews actually began the #DefendTheDuggars petition, while the American Family Association has joined in promoting a similar message):
Rabid homosexual activists have made America’s favorite family enemy Number One. The Duggar Family from TLC network’s 19 Kids and Counting has shared their strong Christian faith with millions of families across America for years. They are unashamedly pro-life and Christ-centered. Because of their uncompromising stand on marriage and abstinence, the homosexual lobby has drawn a bully bead on Jim and Michelle Duggar. Gay activists are publicly labeling Jim and Michelle with words like “ignorance” and “fear mongering.” In the past week, homosexuals launched a very frightening and fast-growing petition asking TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting. Already, their hate-filled petition has gathered 130,000 signatures, thanks to the liberal media’s propaganda machine. TLC needs to know you support the Duggars and 19 Kids and Counting! If TLC hears from enough Christians, they will not even consider canceling the show. Our goal is 1,000,000 signatures by Christmas!
Several so-called "rabid homosexual activists" have already attempted to reappropriate the #DefendTheDuggars hashtag.