WATCH: Gay Dallas dads Cooper Smith, Todd Koch discuss J.C. Penney ad on Daybreak

Dallas dads Todd Koch and Copper Smith with their two children, Claire and Mason, on WFAA's Daybreak on Tuesday morning.

After J.C. Penney’s June catalog hit mailboxes last week, Dallas gay couple Cooper Smith and Todd Koch have been in the middle of attacks made by One Million Moms.

In May, a lesbian couple was featured in the Mother’s Day issue, sparking another boycott from One Million Moms. The group is affiliated with the American Family Association and has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The group stated on its website last week that the public should send back the catalogs until J.C. Penney stops going “down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements.”

The couple appeared on Daybreak with their two children this morning to discuss the negative attention and the positive support they’ve received.

“We expected some of it. We didn’t expect to go unnoticed at all,” Smith said on Daybreak. “We certainly didn’t expect the newspapers in London and all over the world to be calling and emailing and writing about this.”

Koch said the “support has been overwhelming positive” from family and friends.

In response to whether the ad reflects a new movement or the modern family, Smith said the ad “just reflects our life. We care about the exact same things any other parents care about. Are our kid safe, are they happy, are they getting to school on time and have they eaten lunch yet?”

Smith previously told Instant Tea he and Koch were asked about the One Million Moms situation before they agreed to be in the catalog in February. He said the couple was not fazed by the possible criticism and embraced representing diverse families.

“Obviously we’re not ashamed of our family,” he said. “It’s very tastefully done.”

Watch some of the news coverage below.

—  Dallasvoice

One Million Moms attacks J.C. Penney’s Father’s Day ad featuring gay Dallas couple and their kids

Dallas couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith are seen here with their two children in J.C. Penney’s June catalog.

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.

—  Dallasvoice

Father’s Day ideas

I wrote a story this week about two gay dads who treat every day like Father’s Day. But for those of us who like to celebrate more traditionally, here are some things you might do this weekend:

• Dish restaurant at the ilume in the gayborhood, has a three-course brunch option for dads on Sunday.

• If Dad runs more to the meat-and-potatoes side of lunch, the Highland Park Cafeteria has a medium-rare prime rib or bone-in ham lunch for just $10.99 on Sunday.

• Another story this week extolls the attractions of Uptown. You can put those to work for you by buying a commemmorative trolley token for a buck, and using it at area restaurants for discounts on food for Father’s Day, including 25 percent off dinner at Breadwinners, Grimaldi’s and Uptown Bar & Grill. Visit MATA.org for details.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones