27 January 2011

'Family shields' in Arkansas 'protect' young shoppers from gay parents

It's times like this that I remember that everyone in the US actually doesn't share my worldview nor do they live in a blue state. Just as Elton John and his longtime partner David Furnish have welcomed their new baby into their home, Harps (with 60 retail stores across the US) have placed a 'family shield' (like the covers you generally find over porn mags) over the picture of Elton and his family on the cover of US weekly in order to 'protect' young shoppers. The company claims that they have not done this in every store but only in response to customer complaints. The photo has hit the internet thanks to @jennhudd, a Harps shopper who was appalled by the shields she saw in Arkansas (and promptly tweeted!). What is so hilarious is that while some parents must have complained about the US weekly cover because they think gay parenting is disgusting, unnatural or objectionable, these are probably the same parents that are happy to allow their children to play violent video games and who wouldn't bat an eye at the porn mags or other similarly degrading images of women that their children are exposed to everyday. In effect, this 'family shield' is suggesting that the depiction of two men in a long-term, loving relationship as partners and parents is equivalent to pornography. That a 'family' photograph is in need of a 'family' shield is laughably ironic but also so, so sad.

If this is appalling to you, call Harps on 877-772-8193 or use their contact form if you'd like to register your complaint.

UPDATE: Turns out Harps has decided to remove the family shields at the one offending store.

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