This whole J.C. Penney-One Million Moms thing is getting kind of irritating. First of all, there isn’t one million moms. I’m on Facebook a lot. I just went to their page. The group has 46,729 “likes.” Do the math. It’s not even close. I mean, you can’t even ’round up’ from there. Here’s the other thing about One Million Moms: It’s a project of the American Family Association (AFA). In November of 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center officially made AFA a “hate group.” That’s the reality of One Million Moms. It should be called One Million Moms for Hate and Against J.C. Penney. The first time I heard about the group was when J.C. Penney chose Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson. One Million Moms went ballistic because J.C. Penney chose someone who did not accurately represent ‘family values,’ and demanded that J.C. Penney fire Ellen. Yeah. Right. (Isn’t that kind of like a hunter shooting at Bambi?)
Seriously? Who does not like Ellen DeGeneres? When I was asked to write this piece, I decided to spend a few days asking around. I know a lot of people. I know a lot of gay people for sure, but I know far more heterosexual people. I couldn’t find a soul – not one person (gay or straight) – who doesn’t like or respect Ellen DeGeneres. (I’m thinking that’s why One Million Moms can’t seem to get to the one million level.) Not only is she hysterically funny, but she has a lot of class. In my opinion, she’s done more for gay people than anyone else in the LGBT community. Here’s what Ellen had to say about One Million Moms’ attempt to get her fired:
“Normally, I try not to pay attention to my haters — but this time I’d like to talk about it, because my haters are my motivators,” she said. “This organization doesn’t think I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay. They wanted to get me fired, and I’m proud and happy to say that JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson. Which is great news for me because I also need some new crew socks. I’m really going to clean up with this discount.”
Ellen’s right out there. She’s open about her lesbianism and she’s unapologetic about it. She’s proud of her wife. If you’ve watched The Ellen Show, you know she’ll speak up when she sees something discriminatory – like Prop 8. Yet, she does it without alienating anybody. Everybody refers to her as…Ellen. Like they know her. That’s why J.C. Penney chose her as a spokesperson. Let’s face it. One Million Moms just doesn’t get it because they’re a bunch of right-wing Christian bigots, so let me spell it out for them:
Ellen’s lesbianism isn’t important to the rest of the planet. It’s one facet of Ellen The Person. Most people – normal people – can get beyond that. The only ones who can’t are the 46,729 One Million Moms.
I commend J.C. Penney for standing behind Ellen DeGeneres. Then again, J.C. Penney would be crazy not to. I mean, come on. There’s far more upside to standing behind Ellen than caving in to a raving bunch of homophobes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. In fact, I’m thinking J.C. Penney would actually have to answer to a few million people who would be pissed off if it dumped Ellen. I did the math. The Ellen DeGeneres fan page on Facebook has 2,960,672 “likes.” The Ellen DeGeneres Show fan page on Facebook has 7,618,422 “likes.” One Million Moms indeed. Ha! (And besides, the commercials are unbelievably funny.)
So, eventually, One Million Moms finally figured out that it was fighting a losing battle and dropped its campaign against Ellen. One Million Moms then found new targets on television…until J.C. Penney decided to use lesbian mothers and their children in its catalogue. Some people just don’t know when to give it up. Apparently, the J.C. Penney home office isn’t taking One Million Moms too seriously on this particular issue either. According to the page on its web site, OMM was given the brush off. I’m not surprised.
And I thought Mitt Romney was out of touch. Someone needs to tell OMM that gay people really do exist, and we live lives not unlike theirs. We have wives (and husbands). We have children. We are families. We have needs, and that means we have money to spend. We even shop at J.C. Penney. Companies would be pretty stupid to ignore our market. Here’s another little piece of reality: The majority of Americans believe that we should have the same rights as everybody else. To prove it, there’s already a petition out there on Change.org urging J.C. Penney to stand strong against anti-LGBT groups and keep the May catalogue as is. Here’s the link:
I urge you all to go and sign it so that the 46,729 One Million Moms won’t continue to suck up all the air in the room.
Oh, yeah, and Happy Mother’s Day.