Toys ’R’ Us Targeted for Displaying Same-Sex Marriage Archie Comic
A group affiliated with the ultra-right Christian organization American Family Association has slammed Toys 'R' Us for selling an Archie Comics book that centers around a gay character getting married to his partner, LGBTQ Nation reported.
The self-styled One Million Moms wants the toy company to remove the same-sex "Just Married -- Archie" comic books from its shelves. The head of the group (whose numbers are unknown, despite the name) sent a letter to Toys 'R' Us. 'Children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store," the open letter stated. "A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys 'R' Us should be more responsible in the products they carry."
Several gay rights activists and comic enthusiasts celebrated the comic when it hit newsstands last January. The comic features the venerable Archie series' gay character Kevin Keller getting hitched to his partner Clay Walker, an African-American physical therapist. Keller is the series' first gay character, which has been in publication since 1941.
Archie Comic's co-CEO, John Goldwater, responded to One Million Moms in a statement that was a ringing endorsement of tolerance and diversity.
"We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I've said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone," he said. "It's an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We're sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people."
This isn't the first time One Million Moms have caught the media's attention for attacking the LGBT community. In early February, the group targeted JC Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson. One Million Moms demanded that the company fire the comedienne because she is a lesbian.
"Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," the million (or so) moms wrote on their website. "DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."
Despite their efforts, JC Penney refused to get rid of DeGeneres and the celebrity even spoke out about the incident on her daytime talk show.
"Normally, I try not to pay attention to my haters," she said, "but this time I'd like to talk about it, because my haters are my motivators. This organization doesn't think I should be the spokesperson because I'm gay. They wanted to get me fired, and I'm proud and happy to say that JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson. Which is great news for me because I also need some new crew socks. I'm really going to clean up with this discount."