Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 4, Ed. 1 Friday, June 8, 2012 Page: 4 of 40
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Dallas dads make i iternational
news with J.C. Penney ad
After J.C. Penney's June catalog hit mailboxes at
the end of May, Dallas gay couple Cooper Smith and
Todd Koch have been in the middle of attacks made
by One Million Moms.
The couple is pictured in an ad with their two chil-
dren, drawing attention from the hate group but also
from international media.
The family appeared on WFAA's Daybreak Tues-
day, June 5, to discuss the response to the ad.
"We expected some of it. We didn't expect to go
unnoticed at all," Smith said on Daybreak. "We cer-
tainly didn't expect the newspapers in London and all
over the world to be calling and emailing and writing
Koch said the "support has been overwhelmingly
positive" from family and friends.
Smith told Instant Tea 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 and Claire, both 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
"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."
One Million Moms, which is affiliated with the anti-
gay American Family Association, stated on its web-
site 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 company's inclusion of a lesbian couple with
their daughters and one of the women's mothers in
the May issue prompted One Million Moms to reacti-
vate 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 De-
Generes as a company spokeswoman.
Smith said they were asked about the OMM situa-
tion 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.'*
— Anna Waugh
FAMOUS FATHERS | Cooper Smith, right, and Todd Koch and their children — Mason and Claire,
both 3 — are shown in the ad that appears in J.C. Penney's June catalog.
Prices, items and offers effective thru Tuesday, June 12,2012. So that all of our customers can take
of our outstanding prices, we reserve the right to limit quantities. None sold to dealers, restaurants or other retail establishments. Copyright 2012 KROGER TEXAS L.P. www.kroger.com
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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 4, Ed. 1 Friday, June 8, 2012, newspaper, June 8, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth308870/m1/4/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.