Dallas gay couple, JCPenney defend ad as group calls for boycott

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 4 at 9:45 PM

DALLAS - For adoptive parents Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, summer means plenty of playtime with their children, Mason and Claire; normal activity of any young family.

And that's why the same-sex couple agreed to appear in a Father's Day ad with their children in the June J.C. Penney catalogue.

"It just shows that our family is just like any other family," Koch said. "We're not different."

Penney said it included them to honor "men from diverse backgrounds who all share the joy of fatherhood."

But the conservative group One Million Moms criticized the ad, saying it's "promoting sin," and called for another boycott of J.C. Penney.

"How can something so hateful be thrown at a picture as loving?" Smith said. "That's just a snapshot of our life with our kids, and our affection for them."

Koch added, "Really, there are other things to be worrying about."

J.C. Penney recently portrayed a lesbian couple for a Mother's Day ad. And dealt with a similar backlash when it named lesbian entertainer Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.

One Million Moms called for a boycott at the time, then later called it off when Penney CEO Ron Johnson told Yahoo Finance he wouldn't back down.

"My sense is America has moved beyond that issue," Johnson told an interviewer.

Despite the controversy, Smith said they would do the ad again.

"We cherish every Father's Day, and every day, as a matter of fact," he said.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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