Partly in celebration of Fatherâ€™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,Â 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 Motherâ€™s Day, affect JC Penneyâ€™s sales or reputation.
Now, as if in direct reply to these criticisms, JC Penney has released an ad for Fatherâ€™s Day, featuring a real life gay male couple, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, with their children Claire and Mason. The accompanying text reads:Â â€™First Pals â€“ What makes Dad so cool? Heâ€™s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver â€“ all rolled into one. Or two.â€™
One Million Moms has predictably moved to criticise the retailer, for allegedly â€˜continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements.â€™ Repeating the same warning as last time, it warns JC Penney to remain neutral in â€˜the culture war,â€™ lest its members and their supporters boycott the retailer altogether.
â€˜We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth,â€™ the groupâ€™s website declares, echoing its recent criticisms of gay story-lines in comic-scripts. â€˜Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.â€™
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 itsÂ collection.