One Million Moms Threatens Toys 'R' Us With Boycott Over Archie Comics' Gay Wedding Issue
Seemingly undeterred that their heated protest of JCPenney has done little to further their cause, conservative group One Million Moms has its sights now set on Toys 'R' Us.
As Right Wing Watch and Towleroad are reporting, One Million Moms has threatened Toys 'R' Us with a boycott because the toy chain is carrying the controversial Archie comics issue featuring the wedding of Kevin Keller, an openly gay character.
These comic books are sold 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 a 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.
The 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.
UPDATE: No word from the toy retailers just yet, but Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater has released a statement in defense of his publication's gay marriage issue. "As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone," he wrote. "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."
Of course, the planned protest comes on the heels of One Million Mom's much-publicized threat to JCPenney after that retailer appointed Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman.
Take a look at several other gay-related protests against retail outlets and other businesses below:
Ellen DeGeneres' JCPenney Partnership
One Million Moms threatened to boycott JCPenney after the Texas-based retail chain appointed the openly gay DeGeneres as their spokesperson. "By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years," <a href="http://onemillionmoms.com/IssueDetail.asp?id=436" target="_hplink">the group wrote on its website</a>. Meanwhile, DeGeneres <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/12/ellen-degeneres-jcpenney-gay-day-flashmob_n_1269588.html" target="_hplink">took to her show in defense</a>. "Here are the values I stand for: I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you'd want to be treated and helping those in need," she said.
This past holiday season, LGBT rights advocates <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/25/salvation-army-red-kettle-lgbt-community_n_1113358.html" target="_hplink">called for shoppers to skip the Salvation Army's iconic donation buckets</a> due to the organization's conservative view of homosexuality. "The Salvation Army has a history of active discrimination against gays and lesbians. While you might think you're helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in the donations," <a href="http://www.bilerico.com/2011/11/why_you_shouldnt_donate_to_the_salvation_army_bell.php" target="_hplink">Bil Browning noted</a> on <em>The Bilerico Project</em>. "The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies -- including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal."
NYU freshman Hillary Dworkoski has <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-donation-nyu-protest_n_1277364.html" target="_hplink">launched a protest </a>against the fast food chain, saying she is disturbed by the company's reported financial support of several groups with "anti-gay" motives, including Focus On The Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council. A<a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/secretary-faculty-senators-council-stop-serving-anti-gay-chick-fil-a-on-campus" target="_hplink"> petition calling for the university</a> to close its Chick-fil-A franchise, reportedly the only one in Manhattan, has attracted over 10,000 signatures since Dworkoski launched it in January.
Victoria's Cake Cottage
Iowa residents and LGBT rights advocates launched a Facebook boycott against Des Moines bakery Victoria's Cake Cottage after its Christian owner <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/iowa-wedding-cake-lesbian-couple_n_1092789.html" target="_hplink">refused to bake a wedding cake</a> for a lesbian couple. "I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle," Victoria Childress, who met the couple during a taste-testing appointment, said. "It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them, it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer [to] Him for." After the couple's story made national news, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BoycottCakeCottage" target="_hplink">a Facebook group was launched in their support</a>, and currently has about 600 members.
LGBT rights advocates <a href="http://projectqatlanta.com/index.php/news_articles/view/gay_atlantans_plan_protest_for_target_best_buy?gid=6240" target="_hplink">cried foul after the electronics retailer made</a> "large political donations" to a group in Minnesota which used the money to advance Tom Emmer, an anti-equality candidate. Although Best Buy scored high on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and officials argued that they do not claim to agree with all issues a particular candidate promotes, HRC and Georgia Equality authorities nonetheless planned a 2010 protest, noting, "Best Buy has failed to respond at all to our community."
LGBT rights advocates <a href="http://www.billboard.com/features/lady-gaga-talks-target-deal-for-born-this-1005041982.story#/features/lady-gaga-talks-target-deal-for-born-this-1005041982.story" target="_hplink">blasted Target for donating to conservative PAC Minnesota Forward</a>, a group which supported anti-gay marriage candidate Tom Emmer during the Minnesota gubernatorial campaign in 2010. Pop diva Lady Gaga, a vocal LGBT rights supporter, quickly<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/lady-gaga-ends-target-lgbt_n_833209.html" target="_hplink"> nixed her deal for an exclusive special edition</a> of her "Born This Way" album as a result. Target officials, who have apologized for their support of Emmer, <a href="http://www.queerty.com/canvass-for-a-cause-should-adopt-born-this-way-as-their-fight-song-in-target-lawsuit-20110325/" target="_hplink">recently filed a lawsuit</a> against the gay rights group Canvass for a Cause, after members demonstrated outside several San Diego area stores.
The gay rights group Stonewall threatened to boycott Heinz after the condiment company yanked this controversial mayonnaise ad which featured two men kissing in 2008. As <em>The Guardian</em> reports, the ad <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/24/asa.advertising" target="_hplink">was pulled after just a week on the air </a>after viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that it was "offensive" and "inappropriate to see two men kissing."
The American Family Association (AFA) originally planned to boycott Wal-Mart during the company's post-Thanksgiving sales in 2006 over the retail group's support of gay rights groups, but eventually withdrew its objections. <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15835445/ns/business-us_business/t/wal-mart-boycott-over-gays-called/#.T005-3LLyRk" target="_hplink">As the Associated Press reported</a>, Wal-Mart officials said in a statement that the company "will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers," but later said the company would continue working with the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and other gay-rights groups on specific issues such as workplace equality.