By Alex Temblador
American Girl Magazine featured 11-year-old Amaya, who tells her story about being in the foster care system and being adopted. Her adopted father, Rob Scheer, was also in foster care and started a charity called Comfort Cases to help other foster care children. Amaya shares in the article that her and her father never liked carrying trash bags of their belongings from house to house while in the foster care system, so to help other foster kids out, they provide backpacks and brand new bags filled with blankets, clothes, and toiletries to give to foster care children. Amaya and her dad have given away 6,000 bags to foster care children according to the American Girl article.
This story is amazing and inspirational to children and adults alike. It shows the positive effects that can come from being adopted and the great things that youth can do to help others, which is probably why American Girl chose to feature Amaya. Unfortunately, a group of people are trying to denote the wonderful things that this father and daughter are doing. See, what is also shared in the article is that Amaya and her three younger brothers were not only adopted by her father, but by his male partner, Reece Scheer. Her dads are gay. So of course the anti-gay family group who loves rearing its head at anything that doesn’t fit with their conservatively homophobic views of family, attacked this article in American Girl. Yep, you guessed right—it was One Million Moms.
One Million Moms, though they say they approve of foster care and adoption because they Bible says so, were “disappointed to see” Amaya featured in the article because she and her brothers were adopted by two men. One Million Moms stated that American Girl “could have focused the article on the child and not about the parents.” What this hate group fails to see is that the article is focused on the child! It’s entirely in her point of views, she talks about her experiences in foster care and her brothers, and she talks about all the things she likes to do and what she’s involved in. Ironically, the article only focuses on one father, Rob Scheer, as he was the one in foster care and the creator of the charity that Amaya is involved in. The only real reference to Amaya having gay dads is the single picture provided of the entire family. There isn’t any mention of Amaya even saying, “my dads,” but rather the article says the gender neutral, “my parents.”
One Million Moms doesn’t seem to understand the point of the article which was to show that a father and daughter that were both in the foster care system are working together to make other foster care children feel better about their situations.
The hate group also contends that American Girl “could have chosen another child to write about and remained neutral in the culture war.” If by choosing another child you mean to say, a child without gay fathers, in what way would that have allowed the magazine to remain neutral? The magazine would have been favoring only one type of family, a thing that Mattel, the company that owns American Girl, has made a point not to do as they have long been welcoming of all types of families. There isn’t a culture war, One Million Moms. If you must name the current atmosphere, it would best described as an “extinction” and not a “war,” an extinction in which bigoted narrow-minded hate groups are falling to the wayside and large companies and most of the population is becoming accepting of diversity. Sorry, One Million Moms—tell the dinosaurs “hello” for us.
One Million Moms also stated that, “American Girl doesn’t highlight other sins in their magazine.” Actually, American Girl has provided books and guides (books we absolutely support and see a need for) for children whose parents are going through or have gone through divorce, and divorce is a sin according to the Bible, One Million Moms. Do you just pick and choose which sin to attack? I recall multiple quotes in the Bible about judging, attacking, and condemning others. Oh, here’s one:
James 4:11-12: Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Rob Scheer, Amaya’s father, was disappointed by the reaction received from One Million Moms. He told the Washington Post: “How could somebody hate us so much in their heart by looking at our kids?”
“I don’t live in a plastic bubble,” Scheer said. “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.”
As correct as Scheer is, it’s sad to see that One Million Moms focuses their energy on attacking things they consider as a “homosexual” agenda. Julie Parks, a spokeswoman for American Girl said that the feature was meant to “shine a spotlight on a girl who is making a difference…” and that American Girl and Mattel had “no agenda with the article other than to shine a spotlight on Amaya.”
As much as One Million Moms loves to cite scripture and write attacking articles about homosexuality or LGBT families, they never actually seem to do anything positive with their position as an influential conservative parents group, like donate or help the less fortunate. They completely missed the point of the entire article—to help the children in the foster care system, to adopt, to donate, to give to others what you have and they don’t have. The article wasn’t about gay dads and their family; it was about a foster girl inspired to do good and to help others—a trait that we want all young persons to be inspired to do.
We have to agree with Amaya’s father Rob, who said “he would rather see the focus not be on negative opinions on what some people may consider as a traditional family should be but instead challenge people to go out and adopt all these kids who need a home.”