JC Penney Raises Ire With Another Gay-Friendly Ad

By Abby Ellin

Jun 1, 2012 1:24pm
ht jc penney ad jp 120601 wblog JC Penney Raises Ire With Another Gay Friendly Ad

                                                                                           (Image credit: J.C. Penney Catalog)

Is JC Penney trying to become GayC Penney, or is it just a smart marketer?

Last year, the company announced that Ellen DeGeneres, who is openly gay, would be its latest spokesperson. On Mother’s Day, it  featured a lesbian couple in one of  its ads. And now, just in time for Father’s Day, the retail chain  has issued another print ad, this one with real-life couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their two young children.

 The copy reads: “What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.”

Once again, the ads have raised the ire of the conservative One Million Moms,  that is again accusing  JC Penney of promoting “sin” in its advertisements.”

“It’s obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war,” OMM writes. “JCP will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.”

OMM has launched yet another boycott of JC Penney.

In an email to ABC News, JC Penney  spokesman Joseph Thomas said that “In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re proud that our June book honors men from diverse backgrounds who all share the joy of fatherhood.”

 The ad has received a ton of comments online, and  Cooper and Koch have heard from long-lost friends who’ve seen their photo on Facebook and on TV.

“Ninety percent of the blog posts are very positive and heartwarming. But some of the ones that are so hateful shock me,”  Smith, 37, who owns a public relations firm in Dallas, told ABCNews.com.  ”I just don’t know how anyone could project so much hate toward something as loving as the  relationship we have with our kids. That photo was just a moment in time that showed our affection toward our children and how we care toward them. Nothing is being shoved down anybody’s throats.”

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