New York -- J.C. Penney has angered a conservative group with a Father's Day ad that features a gay couple and their two young children. The print ad shows the two men playing with their 3-year-olds and reads, "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.” It is part of a spread in Penney’s June catalog, mailed out this week.
The conservative group One Million Moms, an affiliate of the American Family Association, criticized the ad as "promoting sin," and called for a boycott of J.C. Penney. The same group called for a boycott following the retailer’s hiring of lesbian entertainer Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. On its website, One Million Moms said under a headline, "Avoid JCP this Father's Day," that J.C. Penney was "continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements."
"We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth," One Million Moms said in the statement on its website. "Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature."
The couple featured in the ad said they received mostly positive feedback from friends and strangers around the country. One of the two men, Cooper Smith, said a friend with connections to department store operator recommended that the couple and their children be included in the ad, Reuters reported.
"It represents a large group of diverse families," Smith told Reuters. "We are just seen on one page."