Grocery Store 'Shields' Kids From Photo of Two Gay Dads (UPDATED)

Jan 26, 2011
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.

Lord knows that TakePart HQ has from time-to-time questioned the editorial judgment of US Weekly [Hey, guys: enough with the Kardashians. We don't care how many covers they sell]. 

But we were pretty pleased to see Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish beaming from the cover, alongside their new baby boy. 

Well, it looks like Harps grocery store in Mountain Home, Arkansas, wasn't as fond of US Weekly's editorial decision. The store placed a "family shield" in front of the magazine display to "protect young Harps shoppers."

What's a "family shield"? Well, have a look-see:

'Mommy, who are those masked men?' (Photo: Twitter user @Jennhudd)

Local Twitter user @Jennhudd snapped a photo of the shield, and tweeted it to her followers and the ACLU, saying she was "shocked and horrified" by the act, and wanted to spread the word. Springdale, Arkansas-based Harps has stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

For those wanting to reach out to the Harps management, there's an email contact form here on their corporate website. The corporate headquarters can be reached at 877-772-8193. Roger Collins is the chairman and CEO. Kim Eskew is the president.

UPDATED 2:25pm 1/26/2011:

A statement from Harps President Kim Eskew on the company's website says the shields at the Mountain Home store have been removed. "Our true intention is not to offend anyone in our stores," Eskew wrote.

He says that the entire incident arose from a customer complaint. Harps provides the shields to store managers to be used when customers complain that a cover photo or its headlines are to sexually explicit or suggestive. Someone at the Mountain Home store complained to a manager about seeing two men and their son on the cover of a magazine, and the manager deployed the shields to "protect" young customers. 

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