Dallas couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith and their two children are featured in the June edition of J.C. Penney’s catalog.
Smith said he was asked by a casting agent in Dallas in early February to be in the Father’s Day issue after the agent saw his family’s Christmas photo on Facebook.
They agreed and did a photo shoot in Addison shortly afterward. He said the picture is very natural with the kids, Mason, almost 3, and Claire, 3, running around and having a fun time.
“The photo is just a one-second photo of our life,” Smith said. “It’s a candid moment of how we interact with each other.”
The ad features Koch and Smith in a relaxed home setting playing with their two children under the words “First Pals.” The text reads, “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 text at the bottom right-hand corner reads, “Real-life dads, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children Claire and Mason.”
Smith said the agents were seeking a variety of families for the issue, but they are the only gay family featured.
“They were just trying to present a wholesome gay family and I guess we fit the bill for that,” he said. “They’re really trying to represent what America looks like, and that’s not just heterosexual white people.”
The company’s inclusion of a lesbian couple with their daughters and one of the women’s mothers in the May issue sparked the anti-gay hate group One Million Moms to reactivate a boycott of the store. The unsuccessful boycott had been dropped in March after J.C. Penney stood firmly behind its hiring of lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres as a company spokeswoman.
Smith said they were asked about the OMM situation before they agreed to be included, but he said it was not an issue.
“Obviously we’re not ashamed of our family,” he said. “It’s very tastefully done.”
Catalogs started going out Wednesday, and One Million Moms responded Thursday, writing on the group’s website that J.C. Penney is “continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements.”
The group urges the public to return the catalogs in protest, as well as call and email the company.
“It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well,” OMM’s statement reads online. “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.”
The full statement is below.
Avoid JCP this Father’s Day
One Million Moms (OMM) is disturbed that JC Penney’s (JCP) is continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements. In JCP’s June catalog, there is another homosexual ad, but this time with two dads celebrating Father’s Day. The advertising booklet began arriving in mailboxes yesterday. If their marketing department follows the same plan they did in May, this mailer will be available to view on their website on June 1.
The ad shows two men on the floor playing and hugging their two children at home. It reads, “First Pals – 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. Real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children Claire and Mason.”
It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP 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.
OMM will continue to avoid shopping at JCP until they take a neutral stand. If you receive their advertising booklets or catalogs in the mail, OMM recommends you write “REFUSED…RETURN TO SENDER” on your JCPenney catalog and try sending them back. If they receive an onslaught of their returned magazines, they will take notice. Also, you may email, call, or use their contact form on their website to unsubscribe from their mailers so you will no longer have these delivered to your home. If you have a store credit card, you can close your account, if you have not already done so, to help get the message across that you have no plans to shop with them in the future. Be sure to tell them why you are unsubscribing and canceling your credit card.
Since the corporate office doesn’t consider your call important, please call, or visit, your local store manager. Local managers are more likely to listen to your concerns and pass them along to the corporate office.
Please be kind and request that the store managers to pass along your concern to corporate and urge them to remain neutral in the cultural war.