Elton John, Partner and Their Baby Get Censored

NOTE NEW UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST: It was the fault of some customers.

Talk about a wee bit of an overreaction.

An Arkansas grocery chain has reportedly put “family protection shields’ over copies of Us Weekly magazine because they are too filthy dirty, apparently, for upstanding families to see.

The offending US Weekly cover. I must be out of the loop. I think the photo is charming. An Arkansas grocery chain appears to think it's disgusting.

The offending cover of US Weekly features Elton John, his partner David Furnish and their new baby boy Zachary.

I’m still trying to figure out what’s wrong with the cover photo.

As you can see for yourself, they’re not doing anything weird. The happy couple is fully clothed, and looking at the camera with those goofy grins all new parents seem to have (It’s a combination of elation and exhaustion, I”m sure)

The body contact is minimal. David has his arm around Elton’s shoulders, and they’ve scooted in close together for a family portrait.

So sex can’t be the issue.

Baby Zachary looks fine. He’s got a cute little outfit on and he looks like he’s contentedly asleep.

So what’s the problem?  Could it be that Elton and David are gay?  Horrors! We can’t have that! If kids see a picture of an apparently happy gay couple and their child, they’ll automatically become gay themselves, right? And portraying a gay couple as happy? Gawd, everybody knows they are all miserable, suffering, self hating wretches who are out to destroy God and country.

Or something like that.

I wonder if Harps Food Stores censors other celebrity magazines because the people featured on the covers fall short morally. If simply being gay is bad, what about Britney Spears? Alleged drug use, divorce, partying…

Lindsay Lohan? Don’t get me started there. Are train wrecks morally superior to sober, content gay couples?

Harps does appear to be run by a pretty conservative bunch. According to the grocery store’s Web site, CEO Roger Collins is on the Elder Board of Fellowship Bible Church.

I probably shouldn’t pick on Harp’s too much. Their founder David Leon Harp died earlier this month. He apparently was a local institution. So I’d hate to make their mourning more miserable.

And hell, as silly  for a grocery chain to freak out over a magazine cover, it’s not like Harp’s is the only place to buy Us Weekly. Or learn more about Elton John and his partner and his baby.

But really. Pretending happy gay parents don’t exist is just burying your head in the sand, no? And “protecting” families from a picture of said happy gay couple isn’t going to change the fact that they exist.

Plus, you’d think a commited couple bent on raising a healthy, balanced child with love would be a “conservative” moral thing to do. Don’t the church types talk about the importance of family?

Would the people alarmed by the pic of Elton, David and Zachary prefer Zachary grow up with say Amy Winehouse and Charlie Sheen?

UPDATE: The “family shields” are off the Us Weekly magazines at Harps Grocery.

Here is the company’s statement:

“We have received a number of comments regarding an incident in our Mountain Home store involving the current issue of Us Weekly magazine depicting Elton John, David Furnish and their newborn son.

I would like to explain how this happened. For many years, we have provided each of our stores with shields which can be used at the manager’s discretion to cover the front of magazines when they receive complaints from our customers regarding either the photo onthe cover of the magazine or the titles of articles contained within the magazine.

Somtimes those photos might be sexually provocative or too revealing. The magazine article titles might also be too suggestive for some customers. In this case, our store manager received some complaints and, as has been our custom, placed the shield over the cover of the magazine.

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 shield. 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 reveresed.”

Signed: Kim Eskew, President and COO, Harp Food Stores Inc.

Me again: To quote an Elton John song, I’ve seen this movie, too. Often, a store will bend over backward to appease customers who are easily offended, and in doing so offend a bunch of other people.

Here, apparently a few dufus wackos thought that the mere thought that gay parents exist freaked them out.

And, these self-centered bigots apparently thought that since they were offended, they have to impose their world view on everybody else. A common tactic among people who are waaaayyy too overzealous in their religious beliefs.

We’ll never find out who were the idiots who demanded these shields, but a pox on them. Hope I never meet them.

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