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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 10, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 06
JCPenney ignores bigots, sticks by Ellen DeGeneres
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JCPenney ignores bigots, sticks by Ellen DeGeneres

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Ellen DeGeneres, who was recently signed on to be a spokesperson for JCPenney, recently came under attack from conservatives asking for people to boycott the retail company until they fired DeGeneres from the position.

Not one to have sand thrown in her face, DeGeneres spoke out to her haters on The Ellen DeGeneres Show regarding their call for people to boycott the store because she is a Lesbian. She thanked her fans and supporters and announced that JCPenney officials were not about to cave to right-wing pressure and fire an LGBT person simply because of their sexual orientation.

'We share the same fundamental values as Ellen,' noted the company's president, Michael Francis. 'At JCPenney, we couldn't think of a better partner to help us put the fun back into the retail experience.'

The anti-Gay group OneMillionMoms.com - a project of the American Family Association - launched a campaign demanding that the retailer fire Ellen simply because she is Lesbian. In all, they asked their supporters to petition the department store, remove Ellen as their representative and boycott the stores.

'By jumping on the pro-Gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them all these years,' said OneMillionMoms.com officials in a statement to their supporters. 'They have made a poor decision and must correct their mistake fast to retain loyal customers and not turn away potential new, conservative shoppers with the company's new vision.'

This isn't the organization's first stab at what they perceive as the 'pro-Gay bandwagon.' OneMillionMoms.com have also protested the television shows Glee, Modern Family, and Dancing With the Stars.

DeGeneres fired back on February 8, telling her viewers, 'They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say JCPenney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson, It's great news for me because I need some new crew socks, and I'm really gonna clean up with this discount.'

DeGeneres, who has been an out Lesbian for the past 15 years and is often referred to as 'America's favorite talk-show host,' added, 'First of all, being Gay or pro-Gay is not a bandwagon. You don't get a free ride anywhere. There's no music, and occasionally we'll sing 'We Are Family,' but that's about it.'

Although DeGeneres seemed jovial about the situation, she - and GLAAD - both agree that having JCPenny stick by her side is a great message from corporate America that discrimination in the workplace for LGBT employees is no longer the social norm.

'Today, more people than ever celebrate the love of every family - Gay or straight - and know that no person should be ridiculed, much less fired, simply for being who they are. Even today, Americans can be fired in 29 states for being Gay and in 34 states for being Transgender,' said GLAAD officials in a statement of support for DeGeneres.

Support for the Gay and Lesbian community has been demonstrated in many polls.

'A 2011 Gallup poll showed that 53% of Americans support marriage equality, and data continues to reflect an American public that wants to ensure that all loving couples are able to marry, regardless of sexual orientation,' said GLAAD.

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