Last month, JCPenney was the focus of homophobic outrage and organized boycotts after it featured a lesbian couple in its Mother's Day catalog. So for Father's Day, how did it respond? With this:
"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."
This isn't the first time JCPenney has been attacked by anti-gay groups. When JCPenney hired Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year as a spokesperson, the so-called One Million Moms (OMM) -- a front group for the homophobic American Family Association -- condemned the retailer for hurting family values. But instead of caving, JCPenney went a step further and included real-life mothers Wendi and Maggie in its Mother's Day catalog. This month, it sent out its Father's Day catalog, with real-life fathers Todd and Cooper playing with their two kids. Once again, the American Family Association and One Million Moms are pushing back hard and calling for a Father's Day boycott of the retailer for being one of the first major companies to feature same-sex families in national advertising.
JCPenney needs to hear from us now, because it has caved to One Million Moms before. Just last year, JCPenney pulled an ad OMM deemed offensive. If JCPenney were to cave again, it would be a huge blow to the LGBT community.
For too long, advertisers have sought to fit all families into the mold of "one mom, one dad, two kids and a dog". Indeed, our families come in all shapes and sizes, and advertisers are watching what happens with JCPenney closely -- will the public embrace ads with diverse families, or will anti-gay groups win and push "non-traditional" families back out the door? It's up to us to decide.
- Claiborne, Kaytee and the rest of us
One Million Moms: JC Penney Pulls Ad, 17 September, 2011