There isn't much out there that's more wholesome than American Girl magazine. The magazine, which features the company's signature dolls and inspiring stories about real American girls, is as clean-cut as it gets. So why is the conservative One Million Moms calling for a boycott of Mattel's high-end doll line and telling parents to hide the magazines from their daughters?
It comes down to an article on pages 28 to 31 of the November/December issue entitled "Forever Family." The feature, about 11-year-old Amaya, is written by an adult but told through the tween's perspective — about her years as a foster child (three homes in four months), the day she and her brother were adopted (they arrived with a garbage bag filled with their belongings), and how she now helps her father (a former foster child as well) with his charity, Comfort Cases, which provides backpacks filled with essentials — pajamas, toothbrushes, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. — to foster kids in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia foster care systems. She explains that her parents adopted two more children shortly after she was adopted. Oh, and in a photo at the end of the article, she shows off her family, which happens to include two dads.
Yes, Amaya's fathers — Rob and Reece Scheer — are gay. And they adopted four black children. And for that reason, One Million Moms is protesting. On its website, the American Family Association-affiliated group writes:
"American Girl could have focused the article on the child and not about the parents since it is a magazine for children. The magazine also could have chosen another child to write about and remained neutral in the culture war. American Girl is attempting to desensitize our youth by featuring a family with two dads. 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. . . .
We must remain diligent and stand up for biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature. American Girl doesn't highlight other sins in their magazine."
Though the family has received an outpouring of love from their friends and community over the past week, they've also been on the receiving end of some harsh phone calls.
"I don't live in a plastic bubble," Rob Scheer told The Washington Post. "I am a gay man and I have four African American kids. I understand people out there are ugly. But I didn't expect a group of moms to say we are sinners."
According to American Girl, the article was simply an effort to highlight a girl who is helping others. "We have no agenda with the article other than to shine a spotlight on Amaya," a spokeswoman said.