Homophobia is alive in the US after a store places 'protective shields' over pictures of Elton's baby

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Can someone remind me what century we’re living in? Because when I read about a hopefully small group of conservative American’s reaction to Elton John and David Furnish’s baby, it felt like I’d been transported back 50 years.

Now hold on to your jaw because it’s going to drop, but this week the Harps supermarket in Arkansas decided a magazine cover featuring Elton, David and baby Zachary was offensive and put in place a ‘shield’ – the same used for porno mags – to ‘protect young shoppers’.

From what? A cute little baby boy? Or two men in a successfully long-term 17-year relationship (which, let’s face it, is pretty rare these days) sharing their joy at becoming first-time parents?

I think they’re protecting themselves from a couple of homophobic insular brain-dead shoppers with nothing better to do than moan about their bigoted fears to staff at the grocery store.

Thankfully, the might of Twitter came into play as shocked local Jennifer Huddleston took a quick snap of the offending offender amendment and Tweeted it. To no one’s surprise it went viral and came to the attention of horrified gay rights groups, who kicked off at the store.

Harps bosses immediately removed the ‘shield’ from its Arkansas store, and the grocery chain’s president Kim Eskew said: ‘Our true intention is not to offend anyone and this incident happened at just one of our 65 locations, which when brought to our attention we reversed.’

This week, we’ve had stories of gay killings in Uganda, blood services in Canada banning gay donors and France’s ban on gay marriages upheld in the courts, so it’s infuriating to see poor Elton and David humiliated in such a way.

Two weeks ago, Elton admitted he was fed-up with feeling like a ‘second class citizen’ in America because of his sexuality. ‘As I get older, I get more angry about it,’ he said of California’s eternal ban on gay marriages.

Just as well we live in a country that fines Christian hotel owners for refusing to accommodate same-sex couples. And a country where I can happily go out knowing I’m guaranteed to have the best night ever with my fun, lively and magnificently gay mates!