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ABC News reports that JC Penney has once again put itself in a position where it is being targeted by conservative activists.

The first time was last year, when it hired Ellen DeGeneres to be its spokesperson. DeGeneres is openly gay, and an organization called One Million Moms (OMM), an outgrowth of the American Family Association, objected and called for a boycott. No boycott materialized, and both JC Penney and DeGeneres were largely praised for the ads.

Now, JC Penney is at it again - with a Father's Day ad that features a real-life gay couple, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their children. (Apparently this follows on the heels of a Mother's Day ad that featured a lesbian couple that nobody paid much attention to.)

OMM has taken the bait, is accusing JC Penney of "promoting sin," and is calling for another boycott.

“It’s obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war,” OMM said in a statement. “JCP will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.”
KC's View:
JC Penney isn't only featuring a gay couple in its ads; it also is featuring real-life heterosexuals as well.

Now, I don't want to be too cynical about this. Sure, it is true that JC Penney has been fighting some marketing and financial headwinds lately, and that a controversy over gays and lesbians in its advertising could serve to a) take people's minds off the other issues, and b) differentiate it from the competition. But those can't be the only reason for these ads.

The thing is, more people are going to notice the gay ads because people are calling for a boycott (which won't work, by the way). So OMM is actually doing JC Penney a favor by getting this story into the news.

It is interesting that OMM, if it can be believed, actually wants JC Penney to be "neutral" in the culture wars ... since it has no intention of being neutral.

I don't want to inflame the culture wars here, but I do have to say that I am not neutral on this issue. I have a sister who is a lesbian, and who is lucky enough to live in a state where she has been granted the right to marry her partner. She's been with this partner for something like a quarter-century ... in my family, except for Mrs. Content Guy and me, it is the romantic relationship with the longest staying power. I'm proud of her, I'm happy for her, and I cannot be neutral when other people want to judge her with language of intolerance.