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Anti-gay group slams J.C. Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres

February 1, 2012 |  5:09 pm

Ellen DeGeneres is at the center of fracas over her JC Penney hiring.J.C. Penney hired Ellen DeGeneres to get some attention -- and so far, she's delivering.

OneMillionMoms.com -- a project of the uber-conservative American Family Assn. in Tupelo, Miss. -- is upset that the retailer hired DeGeneres -- the openly gay host of the daytime talk show "Ellen" -- as a spokeswoman to help retool its brand.

"Funny that J.C. Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," the group wrote on its website. "More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless J.C. Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war, then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful." 

The website offers readers J.C. Penney phone numbers and invites them to express their displeasure.

This drew a condemnation Wednesday from GLAAD, the gay rights organization, which dubbed the association a "hate group."

"While designated hate groups try to start 'culture wars,' it's clear that a vast majority of Americans today support Ellen as well as their LGBT friends and family members," Herndon Graddick, a senior GLAAD official, said in a statement, using the acronym for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender persons. "Selecting an out performer who has inspired and entertained millions is not only a smart business practice, but a reflection of how LGBT Americans today are an integral and valued part of the fabric of our culture."

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--Scott Collins

twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Ellen DeGeneres, right, with partner Portia de Rossi, has been hired by J.C. Penney. Credit: Chritopher Polk / Getty Images

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