Department store catalogs aren’t generally known to be controversial—but one online activist group is condemning JCPenney for its portrayal of a same-sex couple with kids in its Mother’s Day catalog, reports HuffPost Gay Voices.
After its failed boycott of JCPenney earlier this year, following the retailer’s hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman, the conservative anti-gay group OneMillionMoms.com (a ministry of the American Family Association) is back in its efforts to demand that the retailer “remain neutral in the cultural war,” as the OMM site explains—i.e., not showcase anything other than a “traditional” (as they refer to themselves) heterosexual family.
The pages in question (shown here) feature a presumably lesbian couple and this copy: “You’ll often find Wendi, her partner, Maggie, and daughters elbow-deep in paint, clay or mosaics. ‘Even as babies, the girls [Raven and Clover] toddled around in diapers, covered in paint,’ said Wendi.”
"OMM has so many issues to cover we had no choice but to move on earlier in the year but have decided to revisit this issue and speak out again," reads the OMM site. "It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well.”
The OMM call to action asks that concerned parents speak with local store managers, despite previous failure to solicit anything beyond a “Thank you” and quick exit from those managers in response to OMM’s complaints re: Ellen DeGeneres. OMM states, “Managers will also have to answer to corporate for the loss in sales from traditional families, so we will give them the proof they need to back this up when we tell them we will no longer be able to shop with them until they take a neutral stand.”
As Parenting is a brand that stands for modern families (that’s right, we recognize that families come in all kinds of iterations), we applaud JCPenney’s inclusion of a variety of families in its Mother’s Day catalog, including a range of ethnicities, a child with Down syndrome, and a single mom. Parenthood is hard enough without us attacking each other for our choices or situations, amirite?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to find my wallet so I can hit JCPenney over my lunch hour.