Gay wedding issue of Archie comic sells out despite protest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The American group One Million Moms’ protests over the gay wedding issue of the Archie comics series have failed to dent the publication’s success with the news that the issue has sold out.

The American Family Association’s maternal pressure group had been recovering from the failure of its attempt to remove Ellen DeGeneres as the face of JC Penney for being a lesbian.

The group, which does not have one million members, asked people to email retailer Toys ‘R’ Us requesting issues of the latest Archie comic be removed from displays where children could see them.

In the latest issue, Kevin Keller returns to the fictional town of Riverside as an adult after serving in the Army and ties the knot with his partner Clay Walker.

The Archie comics series is 70 years old and has sold more than 1.5 billion copies. The issue in which Kevin Keller was introduced also sold out and prompted a reprint for the first time in the title’s history.

Jon Goldwater, Co-CEO of Archie Comics said the company was “overjoyed, honored and humbled” by the response to Kevin Keller’s story.

He said: “Our fans have come out full force to support Kevin. He is, without a doubt, the most important new character in Archie history. He’s here to stay.”

One Million Moms asks concerned parents to write in to Toys ‘R’ Us complaining that children are being “exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store”.

They write: “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 [the children] 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.”

John Goldwater of Archie Comics also told Bleeding Cool blog: “We’re sorry the American Family Association/ 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 says it is “searching for one million moms who are willing to join the fight for our children. We want our children to have the best chance possible of living in a moral society.”