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Baby Cover-Up: Grocery Store Censors Elton's Us Weekly Cover

Wonderwall, Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 1:15pm (PST)
  • By Kat Giantis

    Nothing warms the cockles of our heart quite like seeing new parents in the throes of baby bliss. But not everyone is a fan of domestic tranquility, at least when the parents in question are Elton John and David Furnish, who welcomed son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John on Christmas Day.

    The joyous couple's cover story in last week's Us Weekly, in which they debuted and discussed their "happy little soul" of a newborn son, apparently riled up some shoppers at an Arkansas grocery store, prompting employees to break out a so-called "family shield" to safeguard impressionable youth from Elton and David's happiness.

    A photo of the covered-up cover was tweeted on Tuesday by a customer at a Harps Supermarket outpost in Mountain Home, who said she was "shocked and horrified" that the magazine had been censored "to protect young Harps shoppers."

    Because apparently the image of two people in a long-term relationship cuddling a child they've dubbed a "miracle," and with a parenting philosophy they've described as "discipline and good manners," might send the wrong message.

    RELATED VIDEO: Elton gushes about fatherhood

    Harps, whose CEO has said the company is "based on integrity" and "doing the right thing," has quickly learned the power of the interwebs, as its 800 number was reportedly besieged by angry callers on Wednesday, and staffers at the store in question attempted to explain what happened.

    "We're in a no-win situation," a cashier told Cover Awards when asked about the cover controversy. She added that she didn't agree with the customer complaints that led to the shield, noting, "They're going to have to know at some point [about gay families]."

    Adds the store manager to RadarOnline, "It is a private matter and we have no comment. All I will say is that the magazine is currently for sale and available for the public to buy in our store."

    RELATED VIDEO: Elton and David's 'enchanting' baby

    Meanwhile, a staffer at Harps corporate assures GLAAD that keeping Sir Elton's bundle of joy out of sight is "in no way our opinion on this issue," before pointing out, "We do not have an opinion on this issue."

    In the wake of the kvetching barrage, the shields have apparently been removed.

    Last year, Arkansas struck down a state law banning unmarried couples (straight and gay) from adopting children or becoming foster parents.

    RELATED: Elton on gay marriage: I feel like a second-class citizen

    Elton and David, who have been together for 17 years and tied the knot (in a civil partnership) in 2005, used a surrogate to conceive Zachary.

    "I've never felt anything like it in my life," the pop icon told Us of the first time he held his son. "You're so awestruck. What can you say? You take it in. The feeling, the joy, the warmth of his body, his breathing ... I will never forget that experience ever."

    By the by, the couple donated all the proceeds from their baby photos to charity.

    What do you think of the cover-up? Tell us in the comments.

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