A movement to boycott HGTV has begun in response to the cancellation of "Flip it Forward," a program featuring twin Christian brothers who oppose abortion and homosexuality. At least three Facebook pages calling for a boycott were started on Thursday, in addition to an online petition calling for a boycott of the network and a separate campaign demanding HGTV reverse its decision.
"HGTV is dropping a much anticipated show for two brothers who are Christians and show their faith," the petition says. "They have spoken and shared what the Word of God says and now, after militant homosexuals and LGBTQ extremists threats and protests, HGTV dropped their show. Coincidence? We think not. Please boycott HGTV and write them to let them know that you disagree with their erroneous decision."
The petition asks supporters to refrain from hateful rhetoric or threats. Those who wish to contact HGTV are encouraged to give "just a simple request that HGTV do the right thing or lose viewership."
An administrator of one Facebook page started Thursday said the social media site has already banned him from sharing the page. The owner of another Facebook page said "this is one Christian" who is tired of seeing fellow Christians mocked while others do nothing.
"This is ridiculous," one person commented on a third Facebook page started Thursday. "I'm a pretty tolerant and open-minded person, but I am so sick of the gay and lesbian community making it their personal mission to ruin anyone who's (sic) views are unlike their own."
On Thursday, an article at the International Business Times said a group called Faith Driven Consumer has launched a "Flip this Decision" campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag "#FlipThisDecision." According to IBT, the campaign is an effort to encourage Christians to pressure HGTV into reinstating the program. The campaign also includes a petition that says the network's decision stands in stark contrast to its stated core values. As ot this writing, that petition has over 4,300 signatures.
According to the petition, the network emphasizes “having a strong moral compass which points to character, honesty, ethical practice and accountability” and hold that all are included in the “broad canvas of interests, backgrounds, lifestyles and ethnicities.”
"While some members of the pro-choice and LGBT communities may not agree with the biblical view on these particular issues, the notion that free-thinking Americans should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and inclusiveness," the petition adds.
In a press release, the organization said the Benhams are "well-qualified" and "respected" members of their community. HGTV's action, founder Chris Stone said, amounts to discrimination and bullying.
"HGTV’s rash actions hold no place in America’s rainbow of diversity," he added. "Whether people agree or disagree with the Beham’s faith-driven perspective is beside the point; the Benhams have a right to have those views and to be treated equally with those who hold to other viewpoints. This is the very definition of tolerance.”
HGTV decided to drop the show after a report put out by the liberal Right Wing Watch that noted the brothers' Christiam activism against abortion and homosexuality. The report also revealed the brothers engaged in a prayer rally outside the 2012 DNC convention.
The Benhams responded Thursday, saying they were "saddened" by HGTV's decision.
"The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is; have we shined Christ's light today? Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying," they said. "Over the last decade, we've sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views."
"We were saddened to hear HGTV's decision," they added. "With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it."