JC Penney's Father's Day ad creates controversy - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

JC Penney's Father's Day ad creates controversy

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The JC Penney ad that has many supporting the photo and others upset with its message. (File/FOX Carolina) The JC Penney ad that has many supporting the photo and others upset with its message. (File/FOX Carolina)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

As retailers gear up for Father's Day, advertisements featuring dads are everywhere. But a  June edition of JC Penney's ad book has gotten extra attention because one of the pages shows two dads playing with their kids.

The photo has an anti-gay group called One Million Moms boycotting the department store. On their website, they said JC Penney has taken sides on what they call a "culture war."

The ad book shows dads with their kids of all ages and races. Many photos are of real-life families, including that of Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, with their children, Claire and Mason.

One Million Moms, a sub-group of the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a "hate group," said the ad is "promoting sin."

Their website tells people to "avoid JC Penney this Father's Day" to "stand up for biblical values and truth."

JC Penney representatives and Upstate equality groups believe the diversity of the ad represents America.

"I think it's really not about a gay agenda," said Lyn Radke, spokeswoman for Upstate Pride, "but it's about attempting to reflect reality accurately, and to really be inclusive."

In a statement emailed by JC Penney spokesman Joey Thomas, "As JC Penney focuses on becoming America's favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. 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."

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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