If you're a gay celebrity or a company touting a gay-focused product or storyline, there's one surefire way to very quickly fire up your popularity: Make your immoral, gay agenda-obsessed ways known to One Million Moms, a conservative tributary to the American Family Association hate group.
We saw it earlier this month when One Million Moms demanded a boycott of J.C. Penney for selecting Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson. DeGeneres, of course, is a lesbian, and One Million Moms took issue with the department store endorsing her sexuality by choosing her to represent the store.
Their boycott totally backfired - bloggers chewed the organization out for their press releases, GLAAD and other LGBT group pounced on the moms for their bigotry, and even Ellen herself spoke out about the fact that her values (honesty, fairness, treating people equally) are noble and upright. J.C. Penney, of course, reveled in the press attention.
This week, One Million Moms railed against Toys 'R' Us for stocking the new issue of Life with Archie, a comic book. The new issue features Kevin Keller, the series' first gay character, getting married. The promotion of marriage equality, according to One Million Moms, is just too much.
In a press release, the organization (which actually only has just over 44,000 "likes" on Facebook, a far cry from "one million") chastised Toys 'R' Us, writing:
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.
A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys 'R' Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.
Now, I agree with most of what Bil said in his post about the Ellen DeGeneres dust-up - that we shouldn't make a big stink every time a hate group like this raises hell over positive portrayals of gay characters in the media. But it's also important to talk about the ramifications of these condemnations.
Instead of driving people away from reading the gay-focused issue of Life with Archie, One Million Moms actually drove more media attention, and subsequently, a likely boost in readership, to the comic book. Similarly, J.C. Penney can now look toward dominating the market as a go-to mid-priced store for hip progressives who just love Ellen and want to support her after being torn down by the One Million Moms.
Scott Wooledge has written an excellent analysis of how the failed J.C. Penney protest was a major win for the LGBT community. He wrote:
For too long the Christian right has presumed to speak on behalf of people who have "values." And for too long, too many people took them at their word that they represented "good Christian values." We can thank the One Million 40,000 Moms for tearing off the mask off that façade before a very wide audience.
Under the guise of "religious freedom," they assert their right to say God hates gays. However, in the case of Ellen, God seems to be smiling on her. She has a loving and lovely wife, extraordinary talent, a long, very distinguished career, and great wealth, and she has endeared herself to millions. So, since God has, thus far, failed to act on his scorn for Ellen, the One Million 40,000 Moms have taken it upon themselves to act on his behalf. They want to be sure God's punishment is meted out in this lifetime, where they can watch.
In light of this most recent backfire, I'm sure that dozens of other gay-centric projects are crossing their fingers hoping that an anti-gay hate group will come out with a fierce opposition to their product. After all, it's boosting J.C. Penney's reputation and putting Archie and Kevin Keller back on the map. Who's next?