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You know, I don't shop at JCPenney, and I've never particularly cared for their stores, but they've been pretty damn awesome on gay issues.

I'm sure you remember the brouhaha after they named Ellen DeGeneres as the company's spokesperson. A Dozen One Million Moms pitched a fit disproportionate to their membership numbers, made a whole lot of noise, and JCPenney essentially gave them a middle finger. Remember the firm stand CEO Ron Johnson took on the issue:

We don't look at it like a controversy. One of the great things about America is people can speak their mind. And you know, the organization that believes one thing has spoken and it was great to see Ellen share her views yesterday. And we stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson, and that's a great thing. Because she shares the same values that we do in our company. Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself.
Well now JCPenney is taking on hate once again, this time in a Father's Day ad. The ad features real-life gay dads with their children and shows that, even after the Ellen controversy, the company completely stands with their LGBT customers. Follow me below the fold for the ad and more.

Here's the (very cute, very adorable) Father's Day ad:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The caption in the upper right-hand corner is difficult to read, but this is what it says:

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.
Isn't that just fucking adorable? I LOVE IT!!!

The two dads in the ad are Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their children are Claire and Mason. To learn more about them, here's a touching article about their family in a 2009 edition of the Dallas Voice. From the article:

Full disclosure: I have known Cooper Smith and Todd Koch for half a dozen years. They throw killer parties, especially the one last Christmas in their cavernous Oak Cliff home. So when they said they were hoping to adopt in 2009, my first thoughts were: "You’ll still have the Christmas party, right?"

Smith laughed. Of course, he said — only it might be a little tamer. Think child-care in the circus room instead of karaoke.

Well, not only did they succeed in adopting a child last March — a lovely little angel named Claire — just this week they lucked upon another. They came about both in much the same way: One set of adoptive parents change their mind at the last second and the agency calls frantically to see if Smith and Koch are interested. They have become the go-to gays for adoption, Operation Kindness with humans.

[...]

"We’re very grateful to have been blessed with two healthy children and can’t wait to watch them grow up and to help them become anything they want to be." Smith says.

Koch drops the niceties.

"I better be getting some pretty sweet fathers day gifts. Hear that, Claire and Mason? Get to shopping!"

Everybody together now:

AWWWWWWWW!!!

Anyway, read the full article--it's too cool.

And good on JCPenney for not letting the haters influence the company's inclusiveness. I do believe I'll stop by JCPenney sometime in the near future. What I'm going to buy, I have no idea. But their strong support for the LGBT community has made me look at the company in a completely different light.

I wonder how long it's going to take One Million Moms to blow a gasket over this. I don't know, but what I am pretty certain of is that JCPenney isn't going to give half a shit.

UPDATE: More good stuff from JCPenney...I'm told that this appeared in their May catalogue:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

You'll often find Wendi, her partner, Maggie, and daughters elbow-deep in paint, clay or mosaics. "Even as babies, the girls toddled around in diapers, covered in paint," said Wendi. They come from a long line of artists, which includes grandma Carolyn. Visiting her art studio in Granbury, Texas is a favorite outing. And like any grandma, this one loves to bake — pottery, that is.
Wendi with her mom Carolyn, daughters Raven and Clover, and partner Maggie.
(H/T to Scarce)

UPDATE #2: If you have the money and need something JCPenney sells, why not find a store near you and pay a visit? (H/T to indycam for the link)

UPDATE #3: If you want to thank JCPenney, the phone number is 1-800-322-1189. I can't seem to find the e-mail address or online comments function...let me know in the comments if you find either. Also, feel free to tweet JCPenney at @jcpenney. (H/T to ParkRanger for the phone number and The Nephew for the Twitter information)

UPDATE #4: Here is the online comment form if you want to let JCPenney know how you feel via e-mail. (H/T to Mindful Nature)

Originally posted to Chrislove on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, and LGBT Kos Community.

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