Ellen DeGeneres, in addition to being a highly successful day time talk show host, was recently announced as an official spokesperson for JC Penney. However, “One Million Moms” has demanded that JC Penney drop Ellen as a sponsor, for her lack of “traditional values”. Fortunately no one has taken them seriously.
In fact, they have created a massive, unintentional wave of LGBT awareness, as well as support from a variety of very unlikely candidates.
Conservative FOX News correspondent Bill O’Reilly was one unlikely supporter. During a segment with contributor Sandy Rios, (who defended the “One Million Moms”), O’Reilly compared the Moms’ behavior to a “witch hunt.” He said, “What is the difference between the McCarthy era of the ‘50s and the Million Moms saying, ‘Hey, JCPenney and all you other stores, don’t you hire any gay people. Don’t you dare.’ What is the difference?”
It may be less surprising that liberals have come to Ellen’s defense as well, but one unusually strong voice of support came from Howard Stern on his Sirius radio talk show. He said “I am not the world’s biggest Ellen DeGeneres fan, but I’ll tell you what: I will defend her to the end.” Stern went on to discuss the nation’s anti-gay climate, specifically citing a recent Rolling Stone article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely that described a rash of LGBT teen suicides in former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann’s district. There were nine teen suicides in the one school district in less than two years.
Stern dropped his usual raunchy humor to note that he, too, had once been the victim of bullying and that he thought it was indefensible of so-called soccer moms to be advocating gay bashing. He likened Michele Bachman and equally homophobic political contender Rick Santorum to Hitler saying, “Now, Hitler put this kind of shit out pre-World War II in Germany’s beer halls; if the entire beer hall had gotten up and beaten the shit out of Hitler and kicked him in the face, you wouldn’t have had World War II…”
Stern later back tracked and said he didn’t really advocate physical violence against the politicians; he simply thought anyone with a conscience should be booing the haters and running them out of town.
The most significant consequence, however, was the attention “One Million Moms” continues to draw to LGBT discrimination in the workplace. In 29 states, it’s still legal to fire someone solely because they’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 34 states it is legal to fire someone solely for being transgender. So, thank you “One Million Moms” for your gracious contribution to LGBT rights awareness.
DeGeneres, in responding to “One Million Moms” on her show, did what she does so well: she made the situation into a comedy. “Normally, I try not to pay attention to my haters, but this time I’d like to talk about it, because ma haters are ma motivators.” She also said she plans on keeping her JCPenney job, since she’ll get great discounts on T-shirts and socks.
DeGeneres then concluded in a more serious manner. “Here are the values that I stand for,” she began. “I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for.”
On that note, I will now be purchasing the rest of my socks and underwear from JC Penney.