Partly in celebration of Father’s Day, and partly in response to the criticisms it received for releasing a pro-gay ad featuring a lesbian couple, the US clothing retailer JC Penney has released another pro-gay ad, this time featuring two dads.
JC Penney has been under fire from the anti-gay group One Million Moms, whose actual membership is estimated to be around 40,000 at best, twice before: first for hiring comedienne Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, then for releasing an ad featuring a lesbian couple as mothers of two children.
As it happened, almost 22,500 people signed a GLAAD-initiated petition to thank the retailer for its pro-gay stance, nor did the pro-gay ad, published towards Mother’s Day, affect JC Penney’s sales or reputation.
Now, as if in direct reply to these criticisms, JC Penney has released an ad for Father’s Day, featuring a real life gay male couple, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, with their children Claire and Mason. The accompanying text reads: ‘First Pals – 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.’
One Million Moms has predictably moved to criticise the retailer, for allegedly ‘continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements.’ Repeating the same warning as last time, it warns JC Penney to remain neutral in ‘the culture war,’ lest its members and their supporters boycott the retailer altogether.
‘We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth,’ the group’s website declares, echoing its recent criticisms of gay story-lines in comic-scripts. ‘Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.’
JC Penney has reiterated its position that it is a store for all Americans, and in reflecting the diversity of the country, would naturally include gay fathers in its collection.