Mr. Ratburn's gay wedding episode of 'Arthur' banned in Alabama

Alabama Public Television did not air the season 22 premiere of the children's cartoon "Arthur," citing concerns that the episode's depiction of a same-sex wedding would be a "violation of trust" of parents in the state.

The May 13 episode, titled "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," features Arthur's third-grade teacher walking down the aisle at a wedding attended by his third-grade students. Mr. Ratburn, a noted fan of desserts, weds his beau Patrick, who is a chocolatier.

“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said in a statement. “More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for 'Arthur' also watch the program.”

Prior episodes featuring Mr. Ratburn, a staple on the show since its 1996 debut, had never acknowledged the teacher's romantic preferences, marking a first for the beloved program. Although the episode made national headlines, APT determined that most parents would be unfamiliar with the new development.

"The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not," McKenzie said. "Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode."

APT made a near-identical decision nearly two decades ago, in 2005, yanking an "Arthur" episode that included a character with two mothers.

"Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming," the network's then-executive director said at the time. "This program doesn't fit into that."

Alabama, no stranger to controversy, has found itself in the center of several social issue debates this year. Its new highly-restrictive reproductive rights bill has fueled a major national firestorm.

RELATED: See social media reactions to Alabama's reproductive rights bill:

23 PHOTOS
Stars slam new Alabama abortion bill
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Stars slam new Alabama abortion bill
take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!!
#AlabamaAbortionBan #Alabama #AlabamaSenate #NoUterusNoOpinion #PlannedParenthood #ProChoice I love you Alabama pra… https://t.co/A7HQVGoMGA
Take a minute to read this. It’s maddening. We are regressing. https://t.co/cQptvKZAar
Instagram
These statehouses are waging all-out war on women and their right to control their reproductive decisions. This is… https://t.co/L4dMJvQLdD
Of those 25 men who voted to ban abortion in Alabama, I’d like to know how many of them have ever been pregnant. Or… https://t.co/9fJ1ozgZNs
This week, 25 old white men voted to ban abortion in Alabama even in cases of incest and rape. These men in power are imposing their wills onto the bodies of women in order to uphold the patriarchy and perpetuate the industrial prison complex by preventing women of low economic opportunity the right to choose to not reproduce. The states trying to ban abortion are the states that have the highest proportions of black women living there. This is about class and race and is a direct attack on the fundamental human rights women in the US deserve and are protected by under Roe vs. Wade. Our bodies, our choice.
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do t… https://t.co/wOeNHDk5fl
Good grief. Women should have the same autonomy over our bodies that men do. If we don’t have autonomy we don’t ha… https://t.co/XCuHppUK3O
There is a cold place in hell for the Alabama Senate.
This is awful. Outrageous. Unconstitutional. https://t.co/CkDZ25urC2
The retrograde Alabama criminalizes abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Voted for overwhelmingly by GOP m… https://t.co/tjchsPYH4M
There have been nearly 30 bans on abortion introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country… https://t.co/poClhe5uG5
THE GOAL IS TO CONTROL WOMEN. https://t.co/EZ4G6zbxUw
THIS IS REAL & is HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA https://t.co/x7juRSCzkD
SHAME ON ANYONE INVOLVED IN THIS. #Alabama https://t.co/7G67TfS2HB
The news about Alabama tonight is horrifying. See below for a good local place to donate to fight this. My God what… https://t.co/uhpsc7HGXr
Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep goi… https://t.co/TapGRQxc9h
Do what the Alabama government refuses to do: help women by donating to the https://t.co/VxouPOI5gt. Donating is as… https://t.co/h8Ef8mt5uv
Every single State senator who voted to restrict reproductive rights for women, was a man. https://t.co/ImAwZfFN4Z
Good morning, women. Make no mistake. This is war.
You’re right to be horrified. Your life and your body are your own. Now we find ways to help those most impacted. L… https://t.co/g3q9cX33jx
This only ends with impeachment - and people in the streets RT @AshleyBC137: 😳😨 https://t.co/Vp3avCA12n
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