Following homophobia row, children’s magazine features same-sex parents for the first time
A children’s magazine is featuring a family with same-sex parents for the first time just months after being accused of homophobia.
Highlights magazine, which is one of the longest running children’s magazines in America, will feature the same-sex couple in February’s edition of the magazine.
The strip shows gay dads loading up a van for a family trip away.
It asks children to write in and tell their own story of a family trip.
“Has your family ever taken a memorable family trip?” the text of the strip reads. “Tell us where you went and what you liked about it.”
Highlights was last year accused of failing to recognise its LGBT readership.
An LGBT activist Kristina Wertz last year criticised Highlights’ Hello magazine, which is aimed at those aged up to 2.
At the time, Highlights responded to say that conversations on same-sex parents should be initiated at home by families.
“We understand your wish to see your family’s situation represented in Highlights Hello,” read an October statement.
“For much of our readership, the topic of same-sex families is still new, and parents are still learning how to approach the subject with their children, even the very little ones. We believe that parents know best when their family is ready to open conversation around the topic of same-sex families.”
But the magazine has now been criticised for including the same-sex family in its latest edition.
Christine French Cully, the magazine’s editor in chief tells the Washington Post: “We did expect and received a backlash when we committed to becoming more fully reflective to all the different kinds of families out there.
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“We expect this will make some people unhappy. Our focus remains on creating the best possible content for children.”
Anti-LGBT group One Million Moms responded in December to criticise the magazine for saying it would include same-sex parents in a future edition.
The group said it “urge[d] Highlights to go with their initial decision and not cave into pressure from homosexual activists by including same-sex families in the magazines.”
The magazine, which has been published in Columbus, Ohio since 1946, and which has always been owned by the same family, has been “nonsectarian” for decades, according to Cully.
This is despite publishing bible stories in the 1940s and 1950s.
Cully added that the decision to include a same-sex family did not come immediately after criticisms, but that it wasn’t a difficult decision.
“It was never a question of if,” she adds, “it was always a question of when.”