When a comic book featuring same-sex marriage hit the shelves at Toys 'R' Us, a nationwide organization of conservative women threatened to boycott the retail chain.
But on Thursday, Archie Comics announced in a press release that their controversial 16th issue of Life With Archie had completely sold out.
The issue was released Jan. 4. It chronicled the marriage of Kevin Keller, the series' first openly gay character, to his African-American partner Clay Walker. The cover showed Keller, dressed in his U.S. military uniform, standing with a tuxedoed Walker beneath a Just Married banner.
In tying their fictional knot, Kevin and Clay elicited the ire of a group called One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association. These comic books are sold at the front checkout counters, so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children, said a statement on the OMM website. 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 group urged concerned mothers to email top executives at Toys 'R' Us. The text of the message supplied by OMM reads: Please remove all the same-sex 'Just Married - Archie' comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it.
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Toys 'R' Us did not issue a public response. Nor did they have to remove the comics from their shelves; paying customers did it for them.
Our fans have come out in full force to support Kevin, said Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater in a press release. He is, without a doubt, the most important new character in Archie history. He's here to stay.
Neither Toys 'R' Us nor OMM representatives responded to requests for comment.
This is the second defeat for One Million Moms in as many months. In January, the group encouraged a boycott against JC Penney when the department store hired gay talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman. OMM posted a note on its website saying that the comedian was not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there.
DeGeneres discussed the issue on her talk show and won support from viewers and shoppers across the country.