Thursday, March 01, 2012

Furor Over Archie’s Gay Wedding Issue

Just as Freedom to Read Week really gets rocking and we land right on the UK’s World Book Day, that deafening cry you hear is apparently the collective voices of angry and homophobic parents, incensed that their children are going to be dealing with too much reality at a toy store near them. The focus is in the form of an issues issue from the good people who brought your Archie. Digital Spy takes a stab at explaining:
Archie Comics has been targeted by a conservative Christian group over its depiction of gay marriage.

The American Family Association is campaigning against Toys 'R' Us in a bid to coerce the retailer into pulling any Archie titles featuring the subject matter from its shelves.

"Select Toys 'R' Us stores are now selling Archie comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. The front cover reads 'Just Married' with two men marrying and one is wearing a service uniform," read a statement on the organization's website.
That statement said in part:
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.
When asked to respond, Archie CEO Jon Goldwater told Comic Book Resources that they stand by Life With Archie #16. “As I’ve said before,” Goldwater said, “Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday.”

Here, here.

The good news? I haven’t heard anyone complain about the couple being interracial. I’m not sure if, 20 years ago, that would have been the case. That’s something like progress, I guess.


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