JC Penney and Ellen DeGeneres created some controversy last week as the anti-gay and pro-‘traditional’ family values group One Million Moms kicked up a stink over a lesbian being a spokesperson for the retail giant.

Apparently, gays and lesbians aren’t allowed to be spokespeople for companies because they don’t represent traditional ‘family values’.

The term ‘family values’ is tossed around quite often, mostly as ammunition against same-sex marriage, which to me seems totally bizarre. But what are these traditional family values?

Basically, the nuclear family is the cornerstone of the concept with anti-gay, anti-sex, anti-feminist and pro-life ideologies surrounding it.

In other words, keep the women in the kitchen, the gays out of marriage and nowhere near an adoptable child, keep sex education and the idea of contraception out of schools and don’t even think about abortion.

So, what they are really saying is a wholesome family is one which upholds values popular pre-World War Two.

Ellen responded to this group – only really consisting of around 40,000 mums if Facebook is any indicator – by saying that the traditional values she stands for are “honesty, equality,
kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need”.

And I agree.

How could anyone think that the definition of an ‘ideal’ family includes actively advocating for inequality or to stop a homeless child from being adopted into a loving family? Or educating children on how to protect themselves from STIs or an unwanted pregnancy and what to do in that situation?

I would one day like to have a family of my own and, if I do, I will be teaching understanding, tolerance, equality and love.

Or, as I like to think of them, the cornerstones of modern family values.

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