Against gay dads, One Million Moms urges Mattel to take 'neutral stand'

The Scheer family of Darnestown, Maryland found themselves at the center of an anti-gay campaign after being featured in American Girl magazine. 

Todd Buchanan
In this Nov. 19, 1998 photo, Christine Ross, center and her sister, Anna Ross traveled from Milwaukee to The grand opening of American Girl Place in Chicago, Illinois.

When news broke that Chick-fil-A was funneling money into anti-gay organizations, liberal sectors of the American public reacted in outcry. Politicians tried to block the opening of new restaurants in their cities. Petitioners urged corporate partners to cancel contracts. And the boycotters, well, boycotted really hard.

Since then, there has been no shortage of corporate social activism and, of course, the subsequent clamoring of the masses.

In the most recent case, anti-gay group One Million Moms has called its supporters to boycott the American Girl franchise, owned by Mattel. In the latest issue of American Girl magazine, one of the stories features a family of two dads and their four adopted kids.

“On pages 28-31 of the magazine is an article titled ‘Forever Family’ about adoption from foster care, which would have been wonderful if they had not decided to include a large picture of a girl with her two dads, Daddy and Dada, and three other adopted children,” the organization says on its website.

“American Girl is attempting to desensitize our youth by featuring a family with two dads,” the Moms go on. “If your child has not seen this yet, then be careful she is not exposed and can avoid a premature conversation she is far too young to understand.”

The article at hand is about 11-year-old Amaya Scheer of Darnestown, Maryland, and her involvement in a charity for foster kids. In it, she also shares her own story of being in foster care. Amaya was adopted in 2009 by Rob and Reece Scheer, who later welcomed home three other foster kids, including Amaya’s brother.

The family has since appeared on several local TV programs in reaction to One Million Moms’ opposition, and the contentious story has gained national traction.

But Mattel and the Scheers aren’t the only ones the conservative Moms are campaigning against. According to the group’s website, it’s currently running 12 campaigns against products or services deemed as immoral or profane, including Doritos “Rainbow” chips, a Campbell’s Soup commercial that features gay dads, and ABC’s adaption of The Muppets (the group objected, among other things, to Miss Piggy identifying as a pro-choice feminist).

Regardless of their dedicated efforts, One Million Moms and its conservative cohorts may be fighting an uphill battle. When the Supreme Court was considering gay marriage earlier this year, hundreds of companies filed briefs in support of equality. And when SCOTUS ruled in favor, dozens more expressed their spirit of celebration in public statements and ad campaigns.

More importantly, a growing number of companies – including those serving families and children – are becoming more and more LGBT-friendly in hiring practices and benefits packages. As The Christian Science Monitor has previously reported

Today, 89 percent of Fortune 500 companies include “sexual orientation” in their nondiscrimination policies with 66 percent including “gender identity,” according to a 2015 report by the Human Rights Campaign. Two thirds of the nation’s top businesses now offer full equivalent benefits to same-sex spouses or partners, and more than a third now offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, even in states that do not require them.

To the Scheers, the endeavors of One Million Moms are misguided.

“These are four kids that have fulfilled our life more than we ever thought,” Rob Scheer told Fox 5’s Good Day DC.  

“And so, the Million Moms, I say to them, 'You know what? Go to your local foster care agency. Those kids could really use your help. And not worry about the Scheer family.'"

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