By ROBERT ZEPEDA
From the Iowa House of Representatives — where teen Zach Wahls became a viral video sensation by telling his story of being raised by two loving mothers — to Hollywood, where stars like Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John, Rosie O’Donnell and Ricky Martin are raising children with same-sex partners, parenting by same-sex couples seems to be receiving more attention than ever before.
Gay parents are represented in TV and film as well: Each week, the hit sitcom “Modern Family” includes story lines about Cam and Mitchell, a gay couple raising an adopted daughter while the movie “The Kids Are All Right,” about a family with two lesbian parents, was nominated for an Oscar last year.
Overall, some 115,000 same-sex households recently reported raising children, according to the U.S. Census bureau — but growing numbers don’t necessarily translate to acceptance. “What Would You Do?” wanted to see how bystanders would react when they saw children being bullied for having gay parents.
We hired two actors to play the roles of the adopted children of a same-sex couple and brought in our own bullies, also actors, to berate the two children while their fathers stepped away to do a little shopping. Watch a preview of the scene below:
Some might be touched to see strangers stand up for our bully victims, particularly in light of growing awareness of the consequences of bullying. A number of bullied teens have committed suicide in recent years, leading states to pass anti-bullying laws and anti-bullying advocates to create campaigns such as “It Gets Better,” “The Trevor Project,” and “STOMP Out Bullying.” A new documentary titled “Bully” follows the lives of five families with bullied children and will be released this Friday.
Watch “What Would You Do?” Friday at 9 p.m. ET to see more on how people reacted when seeing the children of gay parents fall victim to bullies.