It had to happen: One Million Moms targets Archie's gay marriage and Toys 'r' Us

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While you might have expected much outcry over the introduction of a gay character into the traditionalist world of Riverdale, reaction to Archie Comics’s Kevin Keller has been overwhelmingly positive. But Archie has heedlessly kept hurtling down the highway, hellbent for tolerance, going further and further until it seemed inevitable they would rouse a bear somewhere: Kevin got his own series and even his own wedding issue, one of those flash forwards in which he marries a doctor who helped him recover from injuries sustained in the Iraq war.

Well, let your faith in the bigotry of humanity be restored: a pressure group is threatening a boycott of Toys ‘r’ Us over carrying the offending comic. Here’s what the group, One Million Moms, told its constituency:


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. This comic book is being sold in select stores across the country. One example is the Queensbury, NY location in the upstate New York area.

Toys 'R' Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor, but they should be aware of the merchandise being sold in their stores nonetheless. 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.

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.


Hopefully someone has warned these innocent tots not listen to the news on TV or google for their paper on Rick Santorum—danger is everywhere these days.

One Million Moms has been getting a lot of pixels of late for their many calls for action and condemnation. They threatened to boycott JC Penney after the chain chose openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson….with little effect. The DeGeneres ad campaign is rolling out as planned and JC Penney still sells crappy brown polyester pants.


In a matter that perhaps hit a little too close to home, the group also has expressed dismay over a racy Liquid Plumr commercial in which a bored woman daydreams about two handsome men coming to the house to unclog her pipes. Although one guesses that some members of this Million Mom coalition might be familiar with this sort of pastime—daydreaming, you filthy monkey!— the group nonetheless issued a call to arms:

Liquid-Plumr presents two sexy plumbers in their new commercial. The Clorox Company introduces the Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System in this ad which is full of sexual innuendos as well. They are attempting to use sex to sell a product to unclog drains.


Well, I never! Sex is being used to sell a product! Hopefully they didn’t use GoDaddy to register their domain! In fact the website goes on and onfor 29 pages of things they don’t like, from Levis commercials to the animated show Allen Gregory to Dancing With the Stars. They also claim to have gotten The Playboy Club canceled, so you know, perhaps there is a secret purpose to this group.
kevin keller 360x483 It had to happen: One Million Moms targets Archie's gay marriage and Toys 'r' Us
While this does seem to be the best publicized objection to the Archie storyline to date, one wonders if it will have any effect. For their part, Archie’s head honcho Jon Goldwater defends the issue in the above video: “It’s a reflection of what’s going on in the world today. If you get married in Riverdale, Riverdale accepts everybody.”

And that, in our opinion, makes Riverdale a really awesome place to be.

Comments

  1. Good for them. God created marriaage as one man one woman period

  2. Well, so much for our plans to introduce Sol the Sexy Plumber into the LIFE WITH ARCHIE continuity…!

  3. @mm: Actually, MAN created marriage AND god.

  4. Jerry Smith says:

    I think intelligent, thoughtful people can disagree about this without being “bigots,” Beat. I don’t agree with all of this group’s goals, but they have a point about Archie. Why direct stories about controversial, alternate lifestyles to comics intended for children? That is not appropriate. Although I call for no boycott or organized protest–it’s a free country–I think Archie Comics has lost it’s way. I’ll vote with my wallet–I will never again buy Archie comics for my children. But I’m not suggesting anyone else do the same, unless they want to.

  5. Oh Jerry…

    It would be inappropriate if they showed Kevin and his new husband in bed together having wild and sweaty sex… just as it would be inappropriate for Archie to be shown banging Betty and/or Veronica. That’s not the kind of book it is. However, as we’ve seen issues with flash forwards depicting what if weddings with both Betty and Veronica, then it’s totally legit.

    Like it or not, this is the world we live in and your kids, and many of the kids reading Archie are probably going to know someone in, be invited to, or be part of a gay marriage at some point in their lives. It’s happening, its a part of our society now and seriously, get over it. It takes all of a minute to explain to kids that some people are born differently and will have different relationships than those of their parents. No graphic details necessary as most kids will only ask what they’re ready to know about. You can save the talk about anal when they’re older… just as you would when talking about hetero relationships.

    Jeez.

  6. Ian Boothby says:

    Jerry, in 2012 there’s nothing intelligent or thoughtful about this protest or you keeping your children from these comics. Your children will be growing up in this world and your attitude now will be nothing but an embarrassment to them.

  7. “alternate lifestyles” – that’s the only phrase Jerry needed to use to let us know he’s clueless.

  8. 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.

  9. Furthermore, Archie Comics is not something I would usually ever purchase. But I’ve decided to support them with this decision to become a more inclusive comics company! I’ve purchased every appearance of Kevin so far, and will continue to do so with his ongoing series! Go, Archie!

  10. i recall seeing many a children’s book talking about families with:

    a mommy and/or daddy

    two mommies

    two daddies

    even no mommy or daddy, instead a grandma and/or grandpa.

    it think kids are more than well aware that gay couples exsist.

  11. Colin Solan says:

    I assume this is the same Jerry Smith who recently gave Christos Gage a tongue-lashing in the letters page of Avengers Academy for the exact same issue. (http://i.imgur.com/Uxzx7.jpg) Clearly someone who does NOT like to see gay characters in mainstream comics.

  12. Gail Simone says:

    This small number of women who inexplicably call themselves a ‘million’ are trying to use bully tactics to silence a positive message at a time when lgbtq kids desperately need them.

    Screw them, of COURSE they’re bigots.

    I don’t care what world they want to pretend they live in, in the real world, the one that exists, they don’t get to decide what human beings are allowed to be seen as television hosts or comic book characters.
    They don’t get to shame and scare us all back into the 1950’s.

    I say today is Occupy Riverdale Day. When you pick up your new comics, please consider buying one or several Archie comics, and be sure to tell your retailer you support what Archie is doing. Same thing at Toys R Us.
    Your retailer is much more interested in what his customers support than what a group of people are upset about who would never go in his or her shop in the first place.

    Support Archie for the great stuff they have been doing lately (and it doesn’t hurt that they are doing some dang entertaining comics!).

  13. “Why direct stories about controversial, alternate lifestyles to comics intended for children?”

    As long as bigots are the only ones who find those ‘alternate lifestyles’ (wink, wink) ‘controversial’ (wink, wink), the rest of us shouldn’t worry so much about offending them.

    Do you also find the portrayal of Jews, Muslims or African Americans offensive and harmful to children, or is it just gay people?

  14. Chris Hero says:

    There’s *really* no good out of indulging our ugly sides and calling others “bigots” or any other labels. Ironically, that’s what we’re accusing them of doing to gay marriage – assigning it judgmental labels.

    No matter how passionately we feel gay couples should be allowed to marry, adopt, and have every civil and legal right as straight couple…people are going to disagree with us. By respecting them, listening to them, and hearing them out, we’re going to learn from each other and that’s how we’ll change the world into a happy, loving place.

    All that being said, I’m going to buy the shit out of these books now that someone’s protesting them. ^_^ Just because I’m advocating we listen to opposing views doesn’t mean I think we have to agree with them. ^_^

  15. I see, MM, “marriaage” is for one man and one woman, “marriage” is for the gays. Thanks!

  16. Thomas Baumbidell says:

    “By respecting them, listening to them, and hearing them out, we’re going to learn from each other and that’s how we’ll change the world into a happy, loving place.”

    Respecting a backwards, hateful worldview does nothing except lend legitimacy to their horrible ideas.

    Listening to them is one thing. They have every right to say what they believe. But after that, it’s important to call them out on their bigotry and point out that they are wrong.

  17. Torsten Adair says:

    A few thoughts:
    1) PFLAG exists to counter these parents. It is hoped that every PFLAG member, and those who support their goals, goes out and buys a copy at Toys R Us.

    http://community.pflag.org

    1.5) And if TRU sees a spike in comics being sold, maybe they’ll expand their comics offering. Maybe they’ll start selling 3-for-$5 comics bags!

    2) The OneMillionMoms link above contains an email link to send a form letter to Toys R Us. Instead of giving OMM your name and email, send a letter directly to Clay Creasey, CFO, Toys R Us at:
    Clay.Creasey@toysrus.com
    and let them know what you think. Be polite.
    (Why did they target the Chief Financial Officer? Maybe that’s the only address they could find?)

    3) If you wish to purchase the issue, I suggest going to your local Toys R Us. If you cannot find it there or at your local newsstand or comics shop, you can buy it online at:
    http://archiecomics.stores.yahoo.net/jopust.html

    4) Life with Archie is an enjoyable magazine, and, unlike the regular Archie comics, is an ongoing soap opera that deals with a lot of serious adult issues. (Hiram Lodge is a 1%er…) The first collection was published in October, volume two ships in April. 9781936975013 $19.99 Recommended. Digital e-books and comics are also available.

    5) Christianity itself was once an “alternate lifestyle”, forced underground and subject to persecution by the government.

    6) Other comics companies with gay characters (boycott them as well, just to be safe): DC, Marvel, Image, Antarctic, Fantagraphics, Dynamite, Dark Horse…

  18. Chris Hero says:

    @Thomas Baumbidell

    I’m sorry, but I could not disagree more. Respecting a different worldview does not give it legitimacy. Respecting a different worldview gives you power over it because you can gain insight into how others think and then thoughtfully meet their actual objections and not feed into their negative stereotypes.

    Listening with the intent on pointing out how wrong someone is isn’t listening, it’s waiting. And if we’re just waiting to call people names, then how are we any better than those we accuse of being hateful?

  19. My seven year old has repeatedly chosen Kevin Keller comics from the stands, no push from me, so it seems to me to be serving the customers. Those who don’t want to read about same-sex situations are, of course, free not to do so, and should be happy that the book’s cover makes it clear that this is one they may wish to avoid. (And Gail, you’re being too generous in even assuming that the people behind OneMillionMoms are women; it’s merely a branding of the American Family Association, an SPLC-recognized hate group. Pulling up the most recent Board of Directors list for the group that I can find (admittedly, 2004), there appears to be only one female among the eleven board members, the group is founded by and presided by men.

  20. Alternative lifestyle implies that the comic is about some sort of news reporter who doubles as a vigilante or a high school student who fights crime. Something like that. Gay marriage is pretty darn normal.

  21. Comet says:

    I love John Goldwater’s response:

    “We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. 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.”

  22. gerald view says:

    ‘ and point out that they are wrong.’

    Well that’s your opinion. I find it interesting that so called liberals always bleat on about respecting other views but in reality that’s only when it matches their own.

  23. Thomas Baumbidell says:

    “Listening with the intent on pointing out how wrong someone is isn’t listening, it’s waiting. And if we’re just waiting to call people names, then how are we any better than those we accuse of being hateful?”

    Because they are insulting and abusing a persecuted minority, who have been fighting for decades for basic human rights. The whole “calling someone a jerk when they are being a jerk makes you just as big a jerk” argument is disingenuous. Calling a bigot a bigot =/= calling a gay person an abomination who doesn’t deserve the same rights as everyone else.

    The hateful bigots are in the wrong. They need to be told so. Some opinions do not deserve respect, or audience.

    So we respectfully agree to disagree.

  24. Thomas Baumbidell says:

    “Well that’s your opinion. I find it interesting that so called liberals always bleat on about respecting other views but in reality that’s only when it matches their own.”

    Why do you assume that’s a liberal opinion?

  25. Chris Hero says:

    @Thomas Baumbidell

    I could not disagree with you more. Being insulted is no excuse to insult someone else. There’s nothing disingenuous about that. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    Why are the so-called bigots the only ones who are hateful?

    @gerald view

    It’s not liberals who bleat on about respecting other views but in reality only respect similar views. That’s all people. Everyone gets lost in their own beliefs from time to time and can’t understand how someone else could possibly believe differently. It’s not unique to political discussions.

  26. Bill:”There’s not really a million of ‘em. They just CALL themselves OneMillionMoms.”

    Bud: “Why?”

    Bill: “I dunno, I guess they thought it sounded cool.”

  27. Torsten Adair says:

    Gee, I wonder what AFA/OMM has to say about Archie #627?

  28. Irwin Schwab says:

    First Avengers Academy, now Archie…pretty soon Jerry won’t be able to buy ANY comics!

  29. Ahhhhh, nothing like a “hot-button topic” to bring out the name calling (shame on you, Beat). As stated above, not everyone who disagrees with gay marriage is a bigot, and OBVIOUSLY not everyone who supports it is tolerant of other views. In fact, the anger generated by this topic on the “Pro-Gay Marriage” side is unacceptable in our society. If you cannot maintain a level of civility in your discourse, then you should just shut up until you grow up enough to recognize that opposing views are not always based on hatred or ignorance.

    Oh, and as for an activist group promoting its vies on this issue? That’s the way our society is SUPPOSED to work. Now, while you get worked up and ready yourselves to type some nasty (and probably poorly written) missive in response… pause for a moment and ask yourself: Is he talking about the Million Moms, GLAAD… or both?

    NOW, on the the comic, of which (apparently) I am the only one who read it?

    For those of you who don’t follow LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, each issue presents two stories set in parallel universes (take that, DC Comics!) where he has married Veronica and where he has married Betty. Each story appears to follow the same general time period (the seasons in each story are the same, and each seems to be set about a year after they got married… more or less). Each issue is odd, but lately the parallel universe bit has actually been worked prominently into both storylines with Dilton Doiley working with Mr. Lodge on some kind of project involving the multiverse, and a new creepy guy (Fred Mirth) working against them. Some of the characters from the two universes actually seem to be able to cross over from one side to the other.

    Wow, that sounds harder to explain than sorting out the various earths in DC’s 52 Universe. But it’s not bad. Keep in mind, this new magazine is more of a soap opera than a humor book (kinda like the “relevant” last issues of the series, That Wilkin Boy, which dealt with teen issues like crime, bullying, runaways, the illness of a pet, etc.).

    LIFE WITH ARCHIE #16 was a bit of a change of pace for the series so far. The Kevin Keller storyline actually didn’t change much between universes. Oh, and by the way, I admit I haven’t read it in a month or so, but I don’t recall them mentioning Iraq as where Lt. Keller got shot. It just said “Somewhere in the Middle East…” In the Veronica story we learn that Kevin took a bullet to the back while under fire in combat. In the Betty half of the book we find that Clay Walker is his physical therapist and that — while working through Kevin’s anger about his injuries — the two fell in love and subsequently returned to Kevin’s parent’s home in Riverdale to get married.

    I thought the wedding was pretty, and I loved in the Veronica storyline how Archie finally stood up to Ronnie and kicked her out of the wedding. They’ve been separated for a while and she’s been acting like a celebrity heiress like Paris Hilton for a few months now — she showed up at Kevin’s wedding to steal the spotlight and have her picture taken and Archie tossed her out on her ear. About time, red!

    As far as the soap opera elements of the series go, I really enjoyed this issue. Paul Kupperberg is doing a great job taking over for Michael Uslan (he wrote the original “Married Life” series that ran in Archie #600-606 and the first issue of the magazine). I like the balance between soap opera and sci-fi and am glad I’m following this series. That being said, this issue did feel like an intrusion into the regular storyline. Kind of like a “Very Special Episode” that might run during sweeps week, or something like that.

    As for political/social analysis? I have to agree with John Goldwater: A gay marriage doesn’t seem out of place in Riverdale. It is a welcoming place that represents an idealized view of society. It seems to be a place that has found a balance between social concerns on both the left and the right. In this issue, any sort of protest against gay marriage would have been out of place in the comic itself.

    As for protesters on both sides of the issue? Please argue more about this! I have multiple copies of the first printing of Kevin’s first (and second) appearance and I would really love it if everyone drove up the prices for me!

  30. Steven Taylor says:

    It’s bullsh#t and bullsh#t needs to be called.

  31. This is just a slippery slope to Archie, Betty, and Veronica ending up in a life of polyamory. Which would be awful, right?

    RIGHT?

  32. Torsten Adair says:

    Irwin, Harvey and Little Lulu don’t have any gay characters…but the reprints are published by Dark Horse, which does publish Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so he’d have to buy back issues.

    Oni has Scott Pilgrim, so that’s another for the list.

    Same with Drawn & Quarterly, they published Maurice Vellekoop.

    Airship Entertainment… hmmm… well, the creators did publish some same-sex comics in XXXenophile, so I guess that counts. There might even be a subtext in “Girl Genius”.

    Boom might be “safe”, unless Irredeemable has a gay character or two.

    Archaia?

    IDW? They published Dragon Age, but had Orson Scott Card write it, so maybe they didn’t use the gay characters. What about Spike? Starstruck?

  33. You are a bad person–not a person with bad opinions, but a BAD PERSON–if you think that calling someone a jerk is the same as campaigning against people’s human rights

    DOUBLE-PLUS-UNGOOD if the person being called a “jerk” IS the person campaigning against human rights.

    YOU ARE A BAD PERSON. FIX THAT.

  34. Mario says:

    Would please someone call the Waaahmbulance for all the closeminded people being called closeminded! Because as we all know only closeminded people are allowed to judge people

  35. Steven Taylor says:

    “In fact, the anger generated by this topic on the “Pro-Gay Marriage” side is unacceptable in our society.”
    Bullsh#t!

  36. Matthew Southworth says:

    While I do think that Jerry’s on the wrong side of the gay marriage argument–an “alternate lifestyle” would be to live with someone you wished to marry, hoped to call your husband, for many years but be LEGALLY DISALLOWED from doing so, while a marriage between two adults who love one another is anything but “alternate”–he does make one statement that I applaud.

    “I’ll vote with my wallet–I will never again buy Archie comics for my children. But I’m not suggesting anyone else do the same, unless they want to.”

    Good for you, Jerry. They are YOUR children to raise, just as it’s up to the rest of us to raise our own children. Your children will have questions about sexuality–their own and that of others–and I hope that they will be prepared to understand and accept themselves and others. I’m sorry that you don’t feel an Archie comic will help them, but I appreciate that you don’t feel the need to boycott or picket someone committed to a different belief.

  37. Being a comics fan is the real alternative lifestyle. Being gay isn’t.

    It’s good to be intolerant of Intolerance. When you’re polite about this kind of thing you can end up with with someone who thinks a gay relationship is comparable to bestiality having a fair chance of becoming President.

  38. Matthew Southworth says:

    That said, I can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone can oppose gay marriage.

    It “alters our perceptions of the institution of marriage”? Well, I’d argue that it reinforces the belief that marriage is between two people who join together for love. Marriage resulting from an unplanned pregnancy does more to alter that perception, but it’s legal.

    It compromises the sanctity of marriage? Nowhere near as much as divorce does, and that’s legal.

    And for all the bigoted arguments we used to hear about the promiscuity of homosexuals, this is the ultimate counter-punch.

    How do you justify standing in the way of two people who love one another being together?

  39. Matthew Southworth says:

    I agree with Chris, btw. I don’t think that just because someone has a viewpoint you think is ignorant or wrong that you just unload on them. I respect Jerry even though I think his ideas are mostly negative and wrong-headed.

    Someone has to earn my scorn, someone like Newt Gingrich. But Jerry, while I probably wouldn’t invite him to dinner–I have gay friends I’d rather spend time with–I don’t need to beat him up in the name of righteousness.

    We liberals can be bullies, too, so I try to keep calm, especially when I’m among a group of people who agree with me.

  40. Chris Duffy says:

    Wait, Toys R Us sells comics?

  41. Bill K. says:

    “Oh Jerry…

    It would be inappropriate if they showed Kevin and his new husband in bed together having wild and sweaty sex… just as it would be inappropriate for Archie to be shown banging Betty and/or Veronica.”

    Damn. Guess Archie will have to find another penciller for that new Alan Moore project…

  42. Matthew Southworth: I’m not going to quote your whole post, but this part bears repeating, “We liberals can be bullies, too, so I try to keep calm, especially when I’m among a group of people who agree with me.”

    The bullying on both sides needs to stop. There needs to be an awaking — on BOTH sides of the political and sociological spectrum — that opposing views are not always formed out of stupidity, ignorance or evil.

  43. >The bullying on both sides needs to stop. There needs to be an awaking — on BOTH sides of the political and sociological spectrum — that opposing views are not always formed out of stupidity, ignorance or evil.<

    While that is true, I have not heard one argument against gay marriage that doesn't come down to either "yuck, it grosses me out and I personally am uncomfortable with it," or "my religion/traditional belief doesn't allow for it," neither of which are good bases for making laws.

  44. Archie keeps putting all other publishers and their chilly behaviors to shame.

  45. Matthew Southworth says:

    I agree, Nate–that’s specifically why I think it’s important that everyone doesn’t shout down the opposing viewpoint.

    I want to hear a rational explanation as to why someone might oppose it, since it makes no sense to me, and someone holding that viewpoint is unlikely to stick around long enough to say if he’s being threatened.

  46. Nick Jones says:

    “God created marriaage as one man one woman period”

    That’s completely untrue, he never even addressed homosexuality. You are never getting into Valhalla if you continue to spread such vile misinformation about Odin the Allfather.

  47. Intolerant Lefty says:

    @Jerry: If anyone told you that you’re not allowed to marry the person you love and your feelings toward that person are wrong and sinful, I’ll bet “bigot” is the nicest word you’d use on them – whatever their justification.

  48. Steven Taylor says:

    Right on, Lefty!!!!

  49. >I agree, Nate–that’s specifically why I think it’s important that everyone doesn’t shout down the opposing viewpoint.

    I want to hear a rational explanation as to why someone might oppose it, since it makes no sense to me, and someone holding that viewpoint is unlikely to stick around long enough to say if he’s being threatened.<

    It's also possible that there isn't a rational explanation for their viewpoint … that is IS simply "yuck, me no like" or some variation thereof. Just sayin'.

  50. “the opposing viewpoint.” Which one is that? Blacks shouldn’t vote? Women shouldn’t own property?

    Marriage as a social construct is mostly about property and inheritance (the most important things to those early lawmakers.) On a legal basis alone it should be open to all who want to anoint their pair binding with a stronger standing. So yeah, go Riverdale!

  51. Toddy B says:

    As a retailer I simply won’t stock any Archie comics with The Kevin character in them , I stock the rest , as a matter of fact I’m the only store in my state that has a dedicated young readers section. The reason I don’t stock any controversial issues is my city is a conservative city . I have gay and lesbian customers , but the number of mum and dads who bring their kids in far out ways that number and I know where my loyalties lay , the dollars spent by these regular families pays the bills. I assume most retailers would be the same , if Archie comics keeps trying to engineer radical social change in their books we will just drop them completely , Papercutz and other publishers are starting to get more shelf space in my store with their all ages , family friendly books .

  52. Gay families are regular families Toddy. That you’ve decided to cater to prejudiced people for money isn’t anything to be proud of.

  53. >if Archie comics keeps trying to engineer radical social change in their books we will just drop them completely

    To paraphrase W.E.B. DuBois:

    “We don’t want social equality!”

    “Neither do I, I want Archie Comics.”

  54. >The reason I don’t stock any controversial issues is my city is a conservative city . I have gay and lesbian customers , but the number of mum and dads who bring their kids in far out ways that number and I know where my loyalties lay , the dollars spent by these regular families pays the bills. I assume most retailers would be the same<

    You might want to ask some of those "mum and dads" – if you're going to assume (there's that word) that they are against these comics simply because they're parents, you might be making a big mistake. Some parents are actual for equality and for their kids learning some kinds of positive values from their reading experiences, such as tolerance and diversity. Just something to think (there's another word!) about.

  55. … oh, and it’s “outweighs,” not “out ways.” Perhaps that city needs some educational help? ;-)

  56. Matthew Southworth says:

    @Toddy–

    I understand you have a business to run, and I appreciate your reasoned response. But there is a bias inherent in your wording–“Archie trying to engineer radical social change”, “regular families”, “family friendly books”. Families come in lots of different shapes–would a book featuring a biracial child not be family-friendly? I hear there’s a Spider-Man book like that.

    I guarantee you some of those conservative families have some homosexuality in them, be it repressed or open; just look at statistics. I can’t imagine a more family-friendly concept than the idea of TWO PEOPLE BUILDING A FAMILY TOGETHER.

    Your choice to cater to conservatives specifically may be an economic one–but let’s say you were to find that a significant number of those conservatives abhorred African-Americans (I’m not suggesting that’s true, this is a thought experiment). Would you then, out of economic necessity, stop carrying books with black people in them?

    Funny. When I was a kid in Tennessee–conservative, Southern Baptist Tennessee–ARCHIE comics were available at the grocery store. But these comics were Spire Christian Comics, and they had licensed Archie and Pals for Christian-themed stories.

    I wish that I had lived in a place and a time where material that was about inclusion and tolerance and understanding of other people was available in four colors at a grocery store. Archie is doing a valuable service for us all, and they deserve a great deal of respect for having the courage to do that.

  57. Chris Hero says:

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading, but I feel a need to say this.

    I am lucky enough to be friends with 3 gay couples all looking to adopt kids. I don’t care if anyone agrees with them or with my desire to do whatever I can to help them. I simply want people to respect my desire to do so. Arguing, name calling, being judgmental, none of that is going to help my friends adopt kids. Being polite, listening to people, and engaging them on their concerns will.

    A friend recently asked what benefit do we gain giving voice to our ugly sides? I believe the answer is none. If that makes me a bad person in anyone’s eyes, that’s ok.

  58. Kiraxd says:

    Just so we kmow where these moms draw the line… It’s okay for Archie to sleep around with multiple partners, but as soon as 2 men get married, the pitchforks come out? Toys R Us sells thousands of things that are more offensive than this comic book (like rated M games and bratz dollz) but these mothers are upset because they have to explain something to their child. IT’S CALLED PARENTING…. You’re supposed to be talking to your child. Once again crazy people don’t want actually be a good patent…. They want everyone else to do the good parenting for them.

  59. Matthew Southworth says:

    I’ve seen comments (here or on other threads, I’m not sure) about conservative parents not wanting to have to “explain this difficult subject with their children”.

    A) men love women. Women love men. Men love men. Women love women. Everyone’s free to love whoever they want. That’s not difficult.

    and B) you know what’s a difficult topic to explain to a child? Having their pet put to sleep due to age and ill health. Why would you choose to do that? Children have a hard time understanding that–UNTIL you talk to them about it. Which is Kiraxd’s point above–it’s your duty to discuss things with your children, not to pretend “difficult topics” don’t exist.

    If there are One Million Moms in this thing, then I feel pretty bad for roughly Two Point Five Million Kids whose worldview has been so severely and cruelly restricted.

  60. >I am lucky enough to be friends with 3 gay couples all looking to adopt kids. I don’t care if anyone agrees with them or with my desire to do whatever I can to help them. I simply want people to respect my desire to do so. Arguing, name calling, being judgmental, none of that is going to help my friends adopt kids. Being polite, listening to people, and engaging them on their concerns will.

    A friend recently asked what benefit do we gain giving voice to our ugly sides? I believe the answer is none. If that makes me a bad person in anyone’s eyes, that’s ok.<

    I wish I was as optimistic as you are, but I sometimes feel like you cannot even get anyone to listen without being "in their faces" about these sorts of things. That is certainly a lesson we seem to have learned from talk radio/reality programming, much of it championed initially by the "angry white males" on the right.

    Also, arguing doesn't have to be a bad thing … doesn't have to be loud, nasty, and full of name calling. Having an argument or a debate once meant a very civilized and reasonable way to air all sides of a topic.

  61. Matthew Southworth says:

    @Nate–I wish it was that easy. But in my experience, yelling in someone’s face has never convinced them of anything. Rush Limbaugh can shout all he wants, and instead of thinking “yeah, maybe he’s right!”, I think “what an asshole” and stop listening.

  62. R Christian says:

    Marriage is a legal institution for gay people in several states, including Washington D.C. itself. Gay people now serve openly in the military… so why is Archie comics immune to such a character? If the gay characters are having sex or are shown in intimate positions, that’s something else, but just a gay character getting married is a non-issue in 2012. Our children can watch “Will and Grace”, “Glee” or “Modern Family” and get more than this comic book shows.

  63. >> Just so we know where these moms draw the line… >>

    Something to keep in mind: There aren’t a million of them, and they’re not all moms. Their senior committee (or whatever they call it) is predominantly male.

    They’re pretending to be a large number of moms so we won’t picture them as the old white cranky dudes that are actually controlling their message.

  64. C Anderson says:

    The idea that gay people are “against nature” is false. Many animals, including giraffe, black swans, dolphins, and lions, all have been observed in intimate couples. The idea that marriage is only between a man and woman isn’t true, but even if you subscribe to that view, remember that it was only in the 1960s that churches started to marry interracial couples, before that, it was against the law in the U.S. The bible is also very clear about the foods we should eat, how to care for your slaves and how to treat women… that doesn’t mean we consider that wrong today. Learn your history!

  65. Mike Gill says:

    If seeing a gay marriage on a comic book cover is shocking to you, then how can you say you’re a comic book fan where blood, weapons, brutal fights, monsters, aliens, torture, bondage, and dismemberment are commonplace? Comic book fans and those who produce them are used to the extremes in human nature and fantasy, and Archie and his friends have a wedding is disturbing? Get real!

  66. The nice thing about a storeowner not carrying the book in order to appease customers uncomfortable with gay marriage is you also cater to customers who are against interracial marriage. Two small minded birds with one stone.

  67. Matthew Southworth says:

    One thing I didn’t mention in a previous post to Toddy re: his store not carrying the book–Toddy, if I was a regular customer of your store (a customer who spends WAYYY too much money on comics, by the way) and I found that you were choosing not to carry a book to cater to these conservative, homophobic and hateful elements, I’d be out of your store in a minute, and I’d recommend to my friends that they shop elsewhere.

    So Toddy, you may just be playing the odds, choosing one clientele over another. You have every right to entertain whatever customer base you choose, but I sure hope you’re willing to be upfront with your gay and lesbian customers–and other straight customers who care for their gay and lesbian neighbors–and see whether they choose to shop there anymore.

  68. Steven Taylor says:

    Calling a spade a spade is not necessarily hateful. Using the word “bigotry” to describe those that are bigoted is not argumentative or over the top, when it is actually bigotry that you are describing or positing an argument against.

  69. Alexandra says:

    “Like it or not, this is the world we live in and your kids, and many of the kids reading Archie are probably going to know someone in, be invited to, or be part of a gay marriage at some point in their lives.”

    Right on, Pia!

    Besides, even if Toys R Us didn’t carry books, it still lets parents go into the store to shop for toys with their children…including married parents…including married parents of the same sex. “[C]hildren are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store” every time they see a child shopping with his or her same-sex parents with matching wedding rings. ;)

  70. Alexandria says:

    “Marriage is a legal institution for gay people in several states, including Washington D.C. itself.”

    In Canada and Argentina too! :)

  71. >@Nate–I wish it was that easy. But in my experience, yelling in someone’s face has never convinced them of anything. Rush Limbaugh can shout all he wants, and instead of thinking “yeah, maybe he’s right!”, I think “what an asshole” and stop listening.<

    Same here. But the guy has a gigantic audience, so his tactics are working on many.

  72. Matthew Southworth says:

    @Nate–but the point about Limbaugh is, his blathering isn’t working on anyone who has an opposing viewpoint. His giant audience is composed of people who buy into his hateful, selfish, gluttonous ideas about our culture–he’s not about conversion, he’s about confirmation and making weaker people with similar views feel they have a loudmouth champion.

    Keith Olbermann hasn’t changed any conservative minds, and Limbaugh hasn’t changed any liberal minds. They’re both just entertainers playing their hits to the faithful. I’m sad to see that public discourse continues to become imitative of these guys (and others), when what I think is more valuable is real debate in place of who can yell the loudest.

  73. Steven Taylor says:

    Legitimate debate is willing to take on all comers,…whether they’re playing by the rules one deems acceptable or not. It ain’t always gonna’ be Marquess of Queensberry!

  74. >@Nate–but the point about Limbaugh is, his blathering isn’t working on anyone who has an opposing viewpoint. His giant audience is composed of people who buy into his hateful, selfish, gluttonous ideas about our culture–he’s not about conversion, he’s about confirmation and making weaker people with similar views feel they have a loudmouth champion.

    Keith Olbermann hasn’t changed any conservative minds, and Limbaugh hasn’t changed any liberal minds. They’re both just entertainers playing their hits to the faithful. I’m sad to see that public discourse continues to become imitative of these guys (and others), when what I think is more valuable is real debate in place of who can yell the loudest.<

    I don't think the goal of either side is to change the opposing side's minds, but to rope in people in the undecided middle.

    I've got to assume, with his gigantic audience (not to mention Fox's #1-rated viewership and other right-wing talk show hosts' audience share) that that's worked to at least some degree … otherwise, why do such tactics continue year after year after year?

    My real inner feeling/belief is that the right knows it benefits from dumber people (hence portraying education and intelligence as something "bad" or "snobby" and the continued efforts to cut funds for educational programs) and simplistic, easy-to-grasp arguments (hence these talk shows and "edutainment"). They're winning in the short term. Long term? Remains to be seen, but if the smart folks get bred out of the system, things'll get pretty bleak.

    Conspiracy theory? Maybe. And I hope it's all-out wrong. I'd be very happy to be wrong.

  75. Oh, and add to the above that the right “wins” when folks turn their focus from real issues like jobs, societal adaptability to future changes, and wars and so forth to “social issues” like gay marriage, prayer in schools, and so forth, and you can kind of see how things work.

  76. Matthew Southworth says:

    @Nate–yes, I agree with everything you just pointed out. It’s all about misdirection–“hey, liberals, I’ve just introduced a resolution stating 2 + 2 is 5! Try and stop me!”–so that the issues on which virtually everyone agrees, things such as wealth disparity, health care, education don’t get addressed and cost the super-rich donors a little bit in taxes.

    And it works.

  77. There are alot of anti-religious bigots on here.

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