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Archie Comics fires back at One Million Moms over gay comic book protest

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Archie Comics has fired back at the American Family Association after its affiliate “One Million Momscalled out retailer Toys R Us for selling an Archie comic book that features a “just married” same-sex couple.

The comic book at issue is the latest edition of the “Life with Archie” series, and in a first for mainstream comic books, fictional Riverdale gathered for the wedding of character Kevin Keller and his partner Clay — the comic book was released this month.

Kevin Keller

John Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics has responded, to the controversy, reports Bleeding Cool, implying that Archie Comics has long-term plans for the Kevin Keller character:

“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.“

One Million Moms has demanded that Toys R Us “remove all the same-sex ‘Just Married – Archie’ comic books immediately from your shelves” before children are “exposed to same-sex marriage.”

So far, Toys R Us has not made a statement regarding One Million Moms‘ demands.

Kevin Keller was introduced to Archie fans in 2010, becoming the first gay character in the series’ 70 year history.

His instant popularity with fans led to that sold-out comic becoming the first in the publisher’s history to go into a second printing, triggering a four-issue spin-off last summer — the series, told in flashbacks, revealed Kevin’s struggles and triumphs through middle and high school.

Last July, Archie Comics announced that Kevin’s character would have his own monthly comic book starting this year.

Archie Comics’ Dan Parent was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2011 for creating Kevin.

Earlier this month, One Million Moms launched a similar, unsuccessful protest against retailer JC Penney, demanding that they fire Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson because she is openly gay.

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37 more reader comments:

  1. ? I wish people would just grow up!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:40pm
  2. That is BIG TIME BULLYING…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:42pm
  3. So it’s better to expose our kids to hate and bigotry than love?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:42pm
  4. This is great. Let’s hope the Toys R Us follows JCP and Marvel comics example and stand up against hate.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:43pm
  5. keep up the good work, archie comics and toys r us!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:44pm
  6. it’s just like television, if you dont like it, change the channel, well if you dont like this cartoon, dont buy it! I wish they’d just get over it already.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:45pm
  7. Those Moms are idiots…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:47pm
  8. Kids need to know it’s ok to be who they are. Many children grow up thinking they are not “normal” because narrow-minded people put it in their heads that relationships are specifically “boy/girl”. Children need adults to guide them and help them, not limit them. My daughter is going to grow up knowing that it is ok to like who you like, and that it is completely normal for people to be who they are, whether a man is with a woman, a man is with a man, or a woman is with a woman. We are all here on this earth, we are all human beings, and we need to be able to get along.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:48pm
  9. Wow, I knew I like Archie comics when I was a kid. Maybe I need to check them out as an adult.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:48pm
  10. I really don’t see the problem with this. LGBT exists and sooner or later, their little ‘angels’ will find out, and maybe even be gay themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:51pm
  11. these moms need to understand that they live in a world that is diverse and everyone not going to be all the same, they just need to deal with this fact, it always have been this way and always will. ha seriously keep their kids from same sex marriage exposure? come on, the kids gonna find out about it sooner or later if it be on a shelf or tv or internet or real live public, you cant hide the facts of life the same way the kids gonna find out about sex in general among other conditions of life. i bet nothing would be said if the comic featured cheating among a man and woman. moms you really need to get a damn life

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:55pm
  12. Those Million Bigoted Moms need to get a life.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:00pm
  13. Million Moms with 40,000 members should learn to count LOL WE do !!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:01pm
  14. just bought a copy of the marriage issue even though I haven’t read Archie for years

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:02pm
  15. The current “Archie” comic strip, which I read everyday online, still doesn’t have any gay characters. I do know that for a while you could buy “Christian” versions of the Archie comic books. That was several days ago.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:12pm
  16. I meant several years ago.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:12pm
  17. As a father and NOT..I repeat NOT a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am extremely overjoyed to learn that select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform.

    I am aware that Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children.

    Fortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is a great place a parent could be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are relevant in today’s world, a way to teach children to be open, loving and NON judgmental. Issues of this nature should be introduced early as to give kids the best possible chance to become open-minded and give them the tools to make their OWN decision on these topics.

    A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely called for. Toys ‘R’ Us should be commended for the products they carry.

    Please DO NOT remove any of the same-sex “Just Married – Archie” comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it :0)

    I look forward to hearing from you regarding my concern.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:15pm
  18. This is my edtied version of the letter to Toys R Us that I copied form the Moms website.hahahah All’s fair in love & Archie!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:16pm
  19. One Million Moms sounds like a bunch of stuck up biggotts who need get off there asses and worry about thier own lives instead of how other people live theirs.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:18pm
  20. A million panties in a bunch. Like JCP, I hope Toys R Us tells them to take a hike!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:20pm
  21. There logo ironically looks like two same sex people holding hands hahaha

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:20pm
  22. Hey Steve – well done with the letter and taking the time. Remember this is 40,000 Mom’s only and many of them do not concur with these messages. Down down they go in a huge credibility gap…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:24pm
  23. I have been reading the archie comic since i was i little kid. man i still have those comic with me. to me the writer for Archie Comics is doing an incredible job on still making this comics. for the One million Mom group, i hope one day their hearts change for kindness and loving.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:28pm
  24. So, in case we haven’t realized, it’s when people start bullying that bad things happen. This group needs to stop the bullying.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:35pm
  25. It’s a fact of life. It’s everywhere in the world. Just keep your children away from that section you homophobs

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:39pm
  26. It’s not like they’re taking their clothes off in the comic books!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:42pm
  27. Good. don’t let those moms intimidate you..

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:52pm
  28. …oh they wouldnt have any objection to that…its portraying normal happy healthy homosexual people as normal healthy happy homosexual people who are productive members of society that bothers them…weird…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:53pm
  29. Love the response from Archie Comics. Buying a boxfull in support

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:56pm
  30. i warned the ToysRUs operator she was about to get bombarded with phone calls! She seemed nervous but happy we like Geoffrey and his pals!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:58pm
  31. Those are the One Million CRAZY Moms (although their FB page only has about 44000 likes – where are the rest of them?)

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:58pm
  32. to many republican moms with time on there hands

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 2:14pm
  33. I read “Archie” comics when I was a kid (I’m as old as the 1st issue) because it displayed a close net peer group-rich and poor. I agree with the “same sex marriage” characters as well, but in an ideal society and post-segregation, they might be lack a of interest by minority groups because of non-representation.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 2:54pm
  34. Well said, Danni!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 3:37pm
  35. Here we go again, i guess ellen degeneras wudnt back down from “one million moms” so now their goin at a comic book. thanks Dan Parent for writing kevin into ur book, i have’nt read it but if its pissin’ off “one million moms” ur doin a good job … i also want to congratulate for the GLAAD award :)

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 3:39pm
  36. What do you expect from close minded self righteous Republican hypocrites? These reality shows that feature straights who sleep around, drink, do drugs, party etc are more of a threat to children.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 4:01pm
  37. excellent comeback.. those moms are just bored self righteous folk who really need to take a hard look at the REAL evils on this planet and focus their energy where it’s truly needed.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 4:34pm