Anti-gay group “One Million Moms” announced Thursday it has abandoned its campaign against retailer JC Penney over its recent hiring of popular daytime television talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.
One Million Moms, “a project of the American Family Association (AFA)” — an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — launched a public campaign last month demanding that the retailer fire DeGeneres because she’s gay.
“DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store,” the group wrote on its website. “More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless J.C. Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war, then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.”
AFA spokesperson Bryan Fisher went so far as to say that JC Penney’s hiring of DeGeneres would lead to depression, suicide, and breast cancer among women who become lesbians due to the store’s choice of spokesperson.
JC Penney officials dismissed the group’s demands, and stood firmly behind DeGeneres.
“We share the same fundamental values as Ellen,” said JC Penney President, Michael Francis.
“Turns out ‘one million’ anti-gay activists just can’t compare to the millions more – moms, dads, sons and daughters alike – who agree with J.C. Penney that no person should be fired simply for being gay,” said GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick.
“As a result of this failed attempt to oust Ellen, more people than ever are now speaking out against the injustices faced by hardworking LGBT Americans in the workplace.”
Cole said she believes “One Million Moms” has done its job “by educating members about the retailer and urging them to take their business elsewhere.”
“Not that anyone’s counting… for a group that calls themselves ‘One Million Moms,’ they only have 40,000 members on their (Facebook) page,” DeGeneres noted, addressing the controversy on her show last month.