A conservative Christian group is enraged over a Nickelodeon special on children with same-sex parents - and both sides are now lobbing verbal volleys at each other. The special, "My Family Is Different," airs June 18 at 9 p.m. as part of Nickelodeon's Nick News franchise. It's hosted by Linda Ellerbee.

The special includes participation from Rev. Jerry Falwell - an outspoken critic of homosexuality - and Rosie O'Donnell, an open lesbian who's raising three children with her partner, Kelli Carpenter. But the Anaheim, Calif.-based Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) says the show is "nothing but pure homosexual propaganda" that is inappropriate for children. "[The special] has taken individuals or occupations that are to be revered, like a fireman and a school principal, and have brought in homosexual role models," says Andrea Lafferty, TVC's executive director. "When you have the equation of children and homosexuality, children freak out."

Hogwash, says Nickelodeon. "In the preparation and production of this show, no one is being more responsible and careful than we are," said a Nick spokesman. "We are rating this program TV-PG and we're airing it a 9 p.m. on a weeknight to insure the older end of our demographic sees it and to encourage co-viewing with adults. Nick News' contacted the Traditional Values Coalition - and instead they chose to manufacture this campaign."

Joan Garry, a spokeswoman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - targeted by the TVC as having a hidden "close association" with Nickelodeon - says there's absolutely nothing wrong with airing the special. Nick officials also dispute a TVC assertion that advertisers have pulled their ads from the special.

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