The mainstream media is twisting the truth about the controversy over a tolerance video to be distributed to elementary school children that features a who’s who of cartoon characters, including SpongeBob and Barney the dinosaur, claims a pro-family advocacy group.

The content of the video itself — tolerance and diversity — and whether or not SpongeBob is “gay” are not the issues, insists Stephen Bennett of the American Family Association.

“No, Sponge Bob or none of the other cartoon characters featured in the video are ‘gay,'” said Bennett. “The video itself does not promote homosexuality, but no doubt will open the door to a secondary discussion of accepting homosexuality as natural and normal.”

The AFA has claimed that the new video — “We Are Family,” based on the 1979 hit song — is being used as a “gateway” to promote the homosexual lifestyle through an accompanying teacher’s guide and the producer’s website, which has a “tolerance pledge” for children to sign and print out that includes “sexual identity.”

The video will be shipped to 61,000 public and private schools across the country courtesy of FedEx and air on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS on March 11.

Bennett, who says he formerly was homosexual, claims an entire list of downloadable teacher’s guides disappeared from the We Are Family Foundation website over the weekend.

“We have documented proof of the organization’s deletion of the pro-homosexual material after the controversy hit the media last week,” Bennett says.

The material discusses fighting “homophobia” and “compulsory heterosexuality,” as well as using “gender neutral” language.

The AFA said it has been threatened with a lawsuit by Nile Rogers, the maker of the video, and the We Are Family Foundation.

Bennett said that after he debated Rogers on Fox News Live on Saturday, all of the pro-homosexual content was removed, including the “tolerance pledge.”

Another posting of the pledge, however, remains on the site here.

Bennett said a report by ABC News with Peter Jennings treated the story fairly, showing Bennett providing links that included pro-homosexual books such as “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “Daddy’s Roommate.”

But these links from the We Are Family Foundation also are gone.

Related story:

SpongeBob, Barney promote ‘gay’ tolerance?

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