Following a groundswell of support for her appointment as the face of JC Penney in the face of homophobic opposition, Ellen DeGeneres has spoken out to thank the public who backed her.

On the episode of her show set to air in the US tonight, Ellen tackles the opposition by One Million Moms which called for her to be sacked for being gay.

The group had accused JC Penney of jumping on the “pro-gay bandwagon”.

DeGeneres jokes: “For those of you are just tuning in for the first time, it’s true. I’m gay. I hope you were sitting down.”

On One Million Moms, she continues: “This organization doesn’t think I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay.

“They wanted to get me fired, and I’m proud and happy to say that JCPenney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson. Which is great news for me because I also need some new crew socks. I’m really going to clean up with this discount.”

On the claims made by One Million Moms that JC Penney was jumping on a ‘bandwagon’ she says: “First of all, being gay or pro-gay isn’t a bandwagon.

“You don’t get a free ride anywhere. There’s no music. And occasionally we’ll sing ‘We Are Family’ but that’s about it.”

She also confronts the claim that a majority of shoppers would go elsewhere when faced with a lesbian, questioning how much support there was for One Million Mom’s views.

37,700 people have now signed a GLAAD petition backing the retailer’s hiring of DeGeneres.

DeGeneres concludes: “I usually don’t talk about stuff like this on my show, but I really want to thank everyone who is supporting me.

“Here are the values I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need.To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for. I also believe in dance.”

DeGeneres also welcomes the decision by the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court that California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.