GLAAD has slammed TLC's upcoming special My Husband's Not Gay, calling it "downright irresponsible" and "dangerous."
"No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. "By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm's way."
The special, which premieres Sunday on TLC, follows four Mormon men in Salt Lake City who are married to women and are attracted to men, but who don't identify as gay. Instead, they refer to their feelings as "Same-Sex Attraction" or "SSA" and see their feelings as something to overcome through their faith.
"This show is downright irresponsible," according to Ellis.
As of Tuesday, more than 70,000 people had signed a Change.org petition asking TLC not to air the program. Josh Sanders, a gay Christian who started the petition, said he had previously been subjected to "reparative therapy." My Husband's Not Gay"promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities," Sanders writes. "I was promised I could change, and told that I should 'pray the gay away. In the end, the only thing that this so-called 'therapy' did was stoke a growing despair that maybe my life wasn't worth living."
TLC stands by its decision to air the special. "TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment," the network said in a statement. "The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves."
This isn't the first time TLC has found itself amid controversy in recent months. In October, the network pulled the plug on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after allegations that matriarch Mama June was romantically involved with a registered sex offender.
My Husband's Not Gay premieres Sunday, Jan. 11 at 10/9c on TLC. Watch a sneak peek below: