To all Fathers, whether gay or not: Happy Father’s Day
By Joe Olvera ©,2012
Father’s Day 2012 is bringing a new resolve into the equation. Not only will the U.S. be celebrating the traditional Father’s Day that is comprised of a mother and a father, but, in this new world, is introducing something rare – two dads in the same family. Although it’s not really new, this is the first time that the phenomenon has been so open.
According to a story on ABC News, and in dealing with the new reality, JC Penney, the giant retail chain with thousands of stores all over the world and in El Paso, has created a Father’s Day ad which features two dads and their children. The ad asks: “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.” The photo then shows real life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their kids.
Only problem is, the ad isn’t pleasing to everyone. A group that calls itself “One Million Moms (OMMs),” is demanding that JC Penney cease and desist. “It’s rather obvious that JC Penney would rather take sides then remain neutral in the culture war,” Monica Cole, spokeswoman for the group, said. “JC Penney will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off. One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.” Besides the angry rhetoric, the group has begun a boycott of all JCP Penney stores.
This is not the first time that the group has come out against JC Penney for the chain’s efforts to be inclusive. They also once attacked the chain for including lesbian mothers in its Mother’s Day catalogue. OMM also tried to boycott the company because it had hired comedian Ellen DeGeneres, an openly-gay t.v. talk host, to be its spokeswoman. OMM, however met defeat, and called off its efforts.
But, now the group thinks JC Penney has gone too far by including gay dads in its new promotion. Cole said that this effort is different. “We have heard back from men and women, not just moms, saying they will no longer shop at the store.”
JC Penney spokesman Joseph Thomas said about the controversy, reiterating the chain’s policy. “In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re proud that our June book honors men from diverse backgrounds, who all share the joy of fatherhood,” Thomas wrote in an email. And the gay community? One supporter emailed the company, applauding its courage and its stance. “Dear JCP – I love you guys. I have never been into a JC Penney store, but, after seeing your ad…well, you guys rock. I will find something to buy, just to say, thank you.” The company further responded that it was founded on the principle of “The Golden Rule,” of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and that it believes in treating everybody “Fair and Square.”
In El Paso, that would be good news for members of the City Council who supported equal rights for the unmarried, gay partners of city employees by allowing them to have health insurance just like every other employee, whether in a gay or a traditional marriage. That didn’t sit well with members of religious groups who fought the policy by initiating efforts to recall Mayor John Cook, and City Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega. Those efforts, however, failed.
So, for all those dads who are in non-traditional marriages, and who have a love for their children, who nurture and care for them, provide for them, teach them the rules of life, who love them with as much fervor as other, traditional dads – Happy Father’s Day! You deserve it!