An Arkansas supermarket reversed its decision Wednesday to hide a magazine cover showing Elton John and his same-sex partner David Furnish holding their new baby.

The shield placed over the current issue of Us Weekly read "Family shield to protect young Harps shoppers."

The Arkansas-based grocery chain lets managers at its 65 stores decide when customers complain if the shield is needed, but it is usually for photos that are "sexually provocative or too revealing," Harps Food Stores President Kim Eskew said.

Complaints poured into the chain's headquarters this week after photos of the shielded magazine spread across internet blogs and news websites.

"When we began receiving complaints at our corporate office, we reviewed the magazine in question, removed the shield and are selling the magazine in all our locations today without any cover," Eskew said Wednesday. "Our true intention is not to offend anyone in our stores and this incident happened at just one of our 65 locations, which, when brought to our attention, we reversed."

Us Weekly West Coast Bureau Chief Melanie Bromley, who wrote the cover story, said the issue has been a good seller for her magazine.

"It's been very compelling for them (readers) and people have really felt the emotion with them (John and Furnish)," Bromley said. "So people have wanted to read about it and see the first pictures of little Zachary."

Bromley's seen no complaints from readers about having a gay couple with a baby on the magazine's cover.

"As far as I'm aware there was no negative feedback at all," she said. "I had not one email of any negative message at all. The only kind of feedback I got was positive, that people are so happy for them."

People Magazine put another same-sex couple with their newborns on front of its January 10, 2011 issue. But the photo of Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka with their twins was only a small image on the margin of the cover.

When People featured photos of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi when they married in 2008, it was one of the magazine's best-selling issues that year, a spokeswoman said.

 

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The obvious question is: why cover it in the first place, especially considering the last statement of the article?  Sadly, the answer is all too simple: the typical double-standard regarding Lesbian couples vs. gay couples from the point of view of bigoted straight people in a sexually repressed environment (Arkansas).  This article to me reflects the continuing and pervasive ignorance regarding alternative sexuality which is almost certainly not being addressed in homes or classrooms in Arkansas and likely many other places in the US Bible Belt ... and apparently, there are a lot of people in Arkansas who want to remain in denial about sexual diversity.

There are incidents which make me embarrassed to be an American.  This pretty much qualifies.

Tags: David Furnish, Elton John, Us Magazine, same-sex

Views: 28

Replies to This Discussion

Loren, I couldn't agree more. Although I was a bit naive and overzealous in light of this article, I was still nonetheless quite happy when I saw the magazine cover; I thought it was a great step toward true equality for gays and lesbians in this country. Additionally, I thought the picture itself was a beautiful family portrait!! The sexuality of a couple is totally irrevelant; family is family- period.

It is sad that the incident happened at all because it does show the biogotry that still exhists in our society. However, it is possible to see the positive side:

 

Complaints poured into the chain's headquarters this week after photos of the shielded magazine spread across internet blogs and news websites.

"When we began receiving complaints at our corporate office, we reviewed the magazine in question, removed the shield and are selling the magazine in all our locations today without any cover,"

Bromley's seen no complaints from readers about having a gay couple with a baby on the magazine's cover.

 

All of the above indicates to me that perhaps a majority of people had no problem with the cover and many see it as a positive thing. Maybe we're not exactly where we want to be--but I think we are on the path. Am I too optimistic? I hope not.

 

Yeah, they backpedaled ... but how well received would a gay or Lesbian couple be in that same general area?  I'd bet my shirt they'd go through HELL.
The problem is that there are too many people, particularly in the religious community, who think they have a civil right not to be offended.
As do the muslims who wanted to get all bent about Draw Mohammed Day ... so what would be the best way to rub THEIR noses in it, Hugh?
How about a cover picture of Elton John and Mohammed holding their newly adopted baby terrorist?

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