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IKEA's "Ian and Steve" family model in Poland: Oil and… Flame?

Posted on December 4, 2008 at 2:13 pm
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IKEA Family Live in Poland is the most recent focus of ongoing debates about what constitutes a family.  In the most recent IKEA Family Live 2009 publication, 12 archetypes of different family makeup are presented under the slogan “Family life is changing … Welcome to the new era.”  One of the 12 example families presented is Ian and Steve, page 54 -57, who have no interest in having children, but enjoy their IKEA Kitchen and herb garden (and their AWESOME HOUSE!).

Apparently Poland has a very strong catholic stance on the issue of same sex partners, to the point where In 2007, in a debate in the European Parliament, Poland was denounced as hateful and repulsive for its “defence of the family” when the country refused to allow the “promotion of homosexuality in schools”.

As an insight into some of the tenseness of the situation, the monthly Catholic magazine Fronda published a template for readers to send as a letter to IKEA including:

“The promotion of homosexual unions adversely affects the institutions of the family, motherhood or fatherhood that are so important for the public.” The letter tells the company that the erosion of the value of natural marriage, “which in accordance with the law is a union between a man and a woman,” is unacceptable, “especially at a time in which the family is in crisis,” particularly with the births of fewer and fewer children. The letter warns IKEA that the drop in the birth rate will affect the company’s future business in Poland.

Wow.  Not sure about the chain of logic there, but there’s clearly some strong feelings.

Given the censure Poland has faced in both the European Union Parliament and the United Nations Human Rights Council over these issues, and the recent wave of legislation passed by several states (California’s Prop 8 being one of the most visible), I’m wondering if we’ll see the same here in the States?  And what the public reaction might be?

Whichever way you feel on the issue, you have to admit that IKEA certainly doesn’t take the safe and unexciting road in their advertising :-).  I’d be interested to hear what others think about this, though I would ask that everyone please remember that one of our core principles here at IKEAFANS is respect for each other, so no personal attacks please!

Join the discussion in the forums: IKEA Live couple “Ian and Steve” ignites controversy in Poland


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8 Responses to “IKEA's "Ian and Steve" family model in Poland: Oil and… Flame?”

  1. Aga W says:

    The Polish catholic milieu connected with the community portal has taken action of boycotting IKEA, which is a firm promoting homosexualism by means of presenting two homosexuals as an example of a family in the company’s catalogue. The consumer boycott campaign has evoked a significant response from the media. The catalogue with the homosexual “family” has outraged Catholics in the whole Poland. The campaign of sending protests to IKEA is in progress. The response is strong. The biggest Polish daily newspapers and Internet portals inform about the campaign and Catholics issue appeals for boycotting IKEA on catholic and right-wing websites. “I would not like to cease doing shopping in IKEA but if the firm does not stop promoting homosexual relationships, I will, unfortunately, feel compelled to do so and I will notify about it all the people I know so that they do the same”, writes in her letter one of the outraged customers of IKEA.

    What does IKEA have to say about it? “Homosexualism is one of the essential elements of living in contemporary society”, says Karolina Horoszczak, the spokesperson for the chain. She announces that the company will not withdraw the catalogue and that Catholics’ protests are of no significance to the company. “Such treatment of catholic customers is unacceptable. This is trampling on catholic moral values and on our faith”, says one of the participants of the protest from the portal.

    “Treating single-sex relationships on a par with married couples is impermissible”, concludes Grzegorz Górny, the editor-in-chief of “Fronda” quarterly. The IKEA’s publication is a promotion of a particular style of living, which does not deserve public propagation.

    This is connected with the strategy of accustoming people to homosexual relationships and then of legalising such relationships. This is done to establish their picture in society as equal and then to legalise them.

    Polish Catholics have shown that they are able to fight for Christian values. They have said NO to moral decay. Without respecting these values, IKEA puts itself at risk of being perceived in Poland as a firm that poses a threat to the Christian understanding of a family and, therefore, of being unwelcome in numerous Polish homes.

  2. Nosse says:

    FRONDA is right

  3. Gardenofdarwin says:

    While I don’t agree with condemning others, I do understand not understanding lifestyles different from your own. Human nature. What I don’t get is the hatred – it’s neither necessary nor productive. And it hardly is consistent with Love thy Brother.

    Whatever. I applaud IKEA for recognizing that all families have inherent worth and dignity.

  4. Ice says:

    Everything depends on meaning of the word: FAMILY – for me and I suppose for Fronda’s everything seems straight and simple – maybe for others like you dear IkeaFan is not. But where’s te tollerance and acceptation for others thoughts and feelings? It’s our point of view so we’ve got the rights to boycott. It’s our consumer law, one of primal.

  5. Daniel says:

    this is why I boycott Poland and other Eastern European countries with their back dated beliefs. Why on earth would anyone wanna visit these places?

  6. Mr. HCI says:

    Where’s the acceptance for condemnation of human beings for daring to be born gay?

    Where’s respect for the feelings of people who think homosexuals should have no rights, or should be imprisoned or should be executed?

    Whatever happened to the tolerance of HATRED?

  7. [...] they wanted queer couples removed from the IKEA catalog. The item in question was, according to The Ikea Fans Blog the most recent “IKEA Family Live 2009 publication, 12 archetypes of different family makeup [...]

  8. yo from FF says:

    Hello Yankees,

    actions against IKEA’s sodomia propaganda were taken by Fronda Forum members, not by quarterly Fronda itself. Just small explanation.


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