Elton John and his partner have recently had a baby boy (via surrogacy) and, unsurprisingly, the media is eager to publish pictures of the new baby and doting parents. Maybe it's not quite like when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt produced a child who was clearly genetically destined to be the most beautiful person on Earth, but still -- everyone enjoys a picture of a new baby, and the new baby of a famous person is that much more interesting. So US put the adorable infant and his proud papas on the cover of their magazine this week and it's just about as adorable and non-offensive as a person could imagine.
Which is why your family has been protected from the adorable by the "family shield" that stores have to cover salacious Cosmo covers (but not, to this writer's recollection, Maxim and that ilk, but that's another subject for another time). No, seriously: A Harps store in Arkansas covered this most benign of pictures with an opaque piece of plastic printed with the message "Family shield. To protect young Harps shoppers."
The store has defended itself by saying that they were just responding to customer complaints and etc. The truth of the matter, though, is that any child old enough to read a masthead on a magazine is old enough to vagued at about adoption or whatever, if you're the sort to feel like telling your kids about the fact gay people exist will make them drop their Tonka trucks and put on feather boas. It would be refreshing, if, just once, bigoted people would say, "Yeah, we hate the gays, what of it?" But of course the stores are all mealymouthed about it, and apparently have taken the shields down, and blah. Let's just all look at the adorable baby, shall we?