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Mom group demand removal of Archie Comic gay wedding issue

The conservative group One Million Moms has demanded in a letter that Toys ‘R’ Us remove all Just Married – Archie comic books from their stores. In the issue the character Kevin Keller (the comic’s first gay character) gets married to his partner.

The letter posted on Media Bistro:

As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am extremely disappointed to learn that select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform.

I am aware that Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children.

Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.

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.

Please remove all the same-sex “Just Married – Archie” comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it.

Community Comments

#1 Tony Isabella
February/29/2012
@ 9:06 am

I?ve watched my kids and their friends grow from pre-school and kindergarten to high school and college. One of the things that gives me hope in these dark days of continued right-wing bigotry is how most of these kids have overcome the prejudices of their parents and embraced diversity in their peers. The bigots will, eventually, be relegated to the dustbin of history. Our kids are better than we are and that gives me hope.

#2 Stephen Beals
February/29/2012
@ 11:10 am

One Million Moms is getting a lot of press for a group of 40 thousand women misrepresenting themselves. They also wanted JC Penny to drop Ellen as a spokeswoman. I’m not sure what they stand for, but they seem to be against any hot mom on mom action.

There are openly gay students in my daughter’s high school. Unheard of when I was a kid. Wonderful progress.

#3 Erin Tselenchuk
February/29/2012
@ 12:13 pm

Growing up reading Archie, I am proud that they have taken a position to support gay marriage without hesitation and will make a special trip (I never frequent the store) to Toys R Us to purchase multiple copies of it for distribution to friends and family.

#4 Keith
February/29/2012
@ 12:36 pm

Likewise, I am glad Marvel has taken a position on hetersexual marriage and I am encouraged to make a special trip (I never frequent the store) to my local comic book store to purchase multiple copies of SpiderMan Annual Vol 1 #21 for distribution to friends and family ;) Seriously, some people don’t want to expose their children to certain things at an early age. It seems they lose their innocence early enough nowadays. I can respect that.

#5 Keith
February/29/2012
@ 1:02 pm

Oh, and I only made the Marvel reference because it kinda sounded silly to me.

#6 Douglas G Smith
February/29/2012
@ 2:06 pm

As Erin’s (see #3) Dad I am proud of her decision to distribute the comic to her friends. Betty and Veronica Digests were and continue to be a pillow gift when she arrives for a visit to the homestead. The sexual orientation issue should be a silent issue, just as separate drinking fountains are. The only pre-judgements I do harbor seem to be joy at a dinner or social invitation from friends who happen to be gay. I know that there will be delicious food, stimulating conversation, well selected music and and a view of the world I share.

#7 Keith
February/29/2012
@ 2:26 pm

Being verbal about the issue seems like not-so-silent response.

#8 Douglas G Smith
February/29/2012
@ 4:58 pm

I am expressing the hope that this civil and basic human rights issue will soon be as archaic, irrelevant and historic as the separate drinking fountain policies are in the South. It does take activists NOW to create a future of less bigotted segmenting of our society

#9 Keith
February/29/2012
@ 5:57 pm

Not every potential human right is accepted by individual people. Sorry to say, but that is a cold hard fact. I am totally against someone smoking crack in my front yard, but some people can view that as their human right. Think about it -I’m sure there are some things you are against as well (like your view of bigotry) that some would argue is their human right. You have to see the situation from all sides. Sorry to be the devil’s advocate, but it’s too easy to see only one side of the issue. As I said before, some parents would rather not expose their children to certain things until they are a certain age, and I can respect that. It seemswas like too many children are losing their innocence at such a young age nowadays.

#10 Stephen Beals
February/29/2012
@ 8:05 pm

Yes, exposing children to two people getting married is a terribl thing.

#11 Keith
March/1/2012
@ 3:07 am

It’s pretty simple, like the akward “where do babies come from?” question, not all parents want to be put in the position of having to explain to their young child homosexuality, at least not until they are older. I can respect that.

#12 Keith
March/1/2012
@ 4:08 am

And regarding the water fountain reference, there is a big difference between the fight against segregation and homosexual acceptance. Segregation is discrimination based on race, whereas homosexuality is a lifestyle. Because they are so different, we can not compare the two.

#13 Mike Peterson
March/1/2012
@ 4:27 am

Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” any more than being black is, which is why the separate drinking fountain analogy is right on. And why some people like to play the “I don’t dislike them, as long as they know their place” game.

By the way, I loved “98.6” — hardly seems possible that it’s been 45 years since you had a hit song. Of course, back then a lot of people thought gay people needed to stay in the closet. We’ve come a long way, most of us.

#14 Keith
March/1/2012
@ 6:47 am

Sorry, but no, racial comparison is not “apples to apples”, and I would think many african americans who lived through the era of segregation would agree. Homosexuality is a lifestyle.

#15 Keith
March/1/2012
@ 7:29 am

When I was born, I did not have an instant craving for tomatoes straight out of the womb. At some point in my childhood I was presented the opportunity to try a tomato for myself (encouraged by others). I was curious enough to make the decision to try one, which after tasting one I decided I liked them. As time went on, and as more situations to eat a tomato presented itself, I incorporated more tomatoes into my dietary lifestyle. Though I can see a homosexual explaining their choice to follow a homosexual lifestyle in a similar fashion, it’s tough to apply skin color to the same analogy. Therefore it’s not an “apples to apples” comparisson.

#16 Mike Lester
March/1/2012
@ 10:17 am

@#8 Douglas G. Smith: “as the separate drinking fountain policies are in the South.”

Because everybody knows, racism only exists “in the South”.

#17 Stephen Beals
March/1/2012
@ 10:33 am

Dear god, yes. Racism is alive and well in the North and in the rest of the world.

It’s sad to see that science and anecdotal evidence gets such an equal platform.

If anyone doesn’t want their kid to accidentally see a gay marriage on an Archie comic cover I think it’s really too bad. Their kids are going to see a lot regardless, and they generally mimic how their parents react. Adults could learn a lot from kids when it comes to tolerance and acceptance.

Archie Comics should really be commended. They’ve done a lot for pre-teen readers over the decades and I’m not sure if all of it was very profitable. Maybe, just maybe, by showing that gay marriage is no big deal there will be less bullying.

#18 Mike Lester
March/1/2012
@ 11:32 am

I’m not down w/ Million Moms, Million Man marches or any organized coercion of private business. ToysRUs can sell candy cigarettes for kids to smoke after they have simulated sex w/ their gay/straight dolls wearing HHS mandated miniature free government condoms for all I care. Unless they’ve got no competitors or really powerful magnets as a free willed U.S. consumer, you can choose not to patronize their store. At least I think we still have that freedom. I’ll have to check.

As far as gay being a choice or lifestyle? I don’t know. I don’t really care anymore than I care if my Marxist President happens to be half black. He was born black but he chose to be a Marxist. Just like Cynthia Nixon apparently chose to be gay.

#19 Terry LaBan
March/1/2012
@ 11:45 am

I’ll bet the folks over at Archie are high-fiving over this one. Nothing sells product like the publicity generated by attacks from jack-booted rightwing thugs. Especially when they’re also mommies.

Obama’s a Marxist, Mike? Really. I guess you’re writing in from the gulag, huh? By the way, who are you supporting in the primaries these days–the desperately pandering corporate raider or the Torquemada wannabe?

#20 Keith Brown
March/1/2012
@ 12:38 pm

To the other Keith.
If parents don’t want to expose thier children to homosexuality they have a choice not to buy the comic book. It’s pretty simple really. As far as influences go, I wonder why the million moms don’t hassle Wal-Mart for selling guns?

#21 Keith Martin
March/1/2012
@ 1:29 pm

Well, I think the point is not just “don’t buy the comic book” – it’s sitting there in their face at the check out where their children can see it (setting up the possibility of an awkward question regarding homosexuality). These parents would rather not shop at a place that’d expose their children to that kind of content, which is why they are asking for it to be removed from their shelves (so they can continue to shop at the store – otherwise, they won’t). As for Wal-Mart, I didn’t know guns were a symbol of homosexuality.

#22 Keith Brown
March/1/2012
@ 1:47 pm

Hey, Wal-mart sells guns an liquor. Those anren’t bad influences?

#23 Stephen Beals
March/1/2012
@ 2:39 pm

Don’t make your problem everybody’s problem and stay out of Toys R Us. Easy.

Does Toys R Us sell the trampy Bratz dolls? Can I buy two of those?

#24 Keith Martin
March/1/2012
@ 3:05 pm

Keith, honestly I was just joking with you. Forgot to add the ;)

#25 Keith Martin
March/1/2012
@ 3:27 pm

Stephen, that’s the point they are trying to make. If the comic books aren’t removed, they will shop elsewhere. They are just giving Toys R Us the opportunity to pull the comic book in case they would like to keep their business.

#26 Stephen Beals
March/1/2012
@ 4:19 pm

Right. Toys R Us knows that. JC Penney knows that. That makes two stores, a comedienne and a comic book this group has tried to intimidate because they don’t, to put it mildly, like gay people. Not only have they failed, they have made the two stores, the comedienne and the comic book receive a lot of positive attention.

The next time they issue a press release they should include coupons for whatever store they’re complaining about, because it’s been great for business.

#27 Kat Ruhl
March/1/2012
@ 4:31 pm

I’m proud Archie is holding firm and not backing down on this. I hope Toys R Us does the same. I understand the people involved in One Million Moms aren’t happy about this but they have no right to try and force anyone into removing something they don’t agree with from store shelves. If they aren’t happy then they can shop elsewhere. They’re kicking up a fuss and marking themselves as narrow-minded and showing off that they want to control other people. Because yes, what’s really happening here isn’t a ‘we want to protect the children,’ it’s ‘we don’t agree with this so it shouldn’t be allowed.’ All this is really doing is giving Archie’s open mindedness free advertising.

This just reminds me of the irate parents that tried to get things like Harry Potter and Bone banned from libraries(not saying these issues are the same, just that one reminds me of the other). Just because you don’t like a book or comic doesn’t mean you have the right to take the choice of reading and seeing it away from other people.

#28 Keith Martin
March/1/2012
@ 5:11 pm

Seriously, this argument works both ways. Just like many may believe MoM is forcing their way of thinking on others, some can argue the same about Toys R Us displaying the comic book in an area all paying customers have to walk by.

Sorry, but you have to view the situation from both sides.

#29 Keith Martin
March/1/2012
@ 5:27 pm

Stephen, people threaten to not shop places all the time due to various circumstances. It is the company’s choice to fully comply, compromise, or reject appeasing them. In a similar fashion, this is merely an organization expressing a dissatisfaction, and allowing the company that same choice.

#30 Kat Ruhl
March/1/2012
@ 5:46 pm

By that logic though any store ever that sells something someone doesn’t like, regardless of what that might be, is infringing on the rights and forcing opinions on those that don’t like it.

Your argument is to me terribly flawed here. Toys R Us isn’t putting issues of this comic in every costumer’s bag, they don’t have sales clerks going up to people entering the store flashing the comic in front of them or forcing them to read it. They have it up at the counter -and this point is important- with the rest of the comics.

One Million Moms however is trying to force them to stop selling this specific issue of Archie, tried to get the company that makes it to stop doing so, and wants no one to be able to purchase it.

They would have made this argument regardless of where the comic was located in the store (which they essentially have because my local Toys R Us didn’t have the issue in the front of the store. Their comic section was toward the back)

#31 Keith Martin
March/2/2012
@ 4:01 am

Kat, yes you are absolutely correct! Many consider a store selling something they consider objectionable is forcing their way of thinking on to their customers.

Think about it – in some grocery stores, they put boards up in front of magazines at the check out that feature covers of women some would consider objectionable. I can’t speak for every store, but it’s possible a customer (or organization) presented something similar to the grocery store, which prompted them to put the boards up in front of the magazines.

Really, all I am saying is we need to look at the situation from both sides, and ultimately let Toys R Us decide what to do. Is that unreasonable?

#32 Joe Vissichelli
March/6/2012
@ 1:40 pm

A pox on all those Marxists who save the capitalist system with their bailouts! Pull-eeze.

Knowing Archie Comics, their gay character is as softcore whitebread as it gets. They’re not going to have a cartoon gay porn cover, I’d say. So I’m sure it’s not hard for squeamish Million Moms (who only number like 40,000) to steer their curious kids elsewhere. Or maybe they can put a plain brown wrapper over their prying little eyes.

But of course this MM group, having just gone after JC Penney’s using Ellen DeGeneres as their rep, likes to find same-sex topics to tee off on to support their conservative agenda. Yet they don’t go after tv news shows who mention the topic in front of kids 24/7. Couldn’t that put ideas in their kids’ heads too? Wouldn’t want to bite the PR machine in the butt now?

So maybe they’re selectively doing their bit to get press and keep the improving economy off-topic in this election cycle.

#33 Eric Burke
March/6/2012
@ 10:55 pm

The most surprising part of this story is that Archie Comics are still around! Who buys Archie comics?

#34 Joe Engesser
March/7/2012
@ 8:44 am

I’ll buy the one with Archie and Reggie tying the knot. Can just imagine Jughead serenading them…”Pour little sugar on me honey.” I’m waiting for Hanna-Barbera’s updated episode of “Josie and the Pussycats”!

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