Pro-family group "One Million Moms" is urging customers to contact J.C. Penney and demand that the company drop openly homosexual Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.
One Million Moms is an offshoot of the American Family Association (AFA), "one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with over two million online supporters…" according to its website. The AFA's mission is "to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission."
The group finds fault with J.C. Penney's recent decision to hire DeGeneres as its new spokesperson. In an announcement from the company's president last month, Michael Francis told the press, "Importantly, we share the same fundamental values as Ellen. At J.C. Penney, we couldn't think of a better partner to help us put the fun back into the retail experience."
Now, though, those shared fundamental values are clashing with those of more conservative families. On its website, One Million Moms posted, "Funny that J.C. Penney think hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store."
The site adds, "By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, J.C. Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years. Ask J.C. Penney to replace Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson immediately and remain neutral in the culture war."
Some customers have voiced support for J.C. Penney's decision on its Facebook page. Crista Constance Jackson wrote, "Can't wait to see Ellen, she will be a fantastic addition to your team! Thanks for the support! We will be shopping at JCP a whole lot more."
Dean Lombardo wrote, "Ellen is a great, excellent choice!"
However, others share the same views as One Million Moms. Arlene Clary Batten wrote on Facebook, "Don't agree with Ellen being your Spokesperson, She does Not Stand for the American Family, Being a Christian I will No longer shop at JCP."
Christy Doug Lahr also does not agree with JC Penney's decision: "I (sic) am officially un-liking this page...and will not be shopping at jcpenney (sic) anymore.....mr. j.c. penney (sic), a wonderful born again Christian man is rolling over in his grave."
The new campaign by J.C. Penney began on Feb. 1, and time will tell whether the decision to redo stores, pricing, and bring DeGeneres on board will improve its sales or cause damage to the chain.