The campaign to fire Ellen DeGeneres as the spokeswoman for JCPenney because she is openly gay has shifted its strategy after the company rejected their demands.

The group One Million Moms, which is closely associated with the Christian conservative group American Family Association (AFA), called on JCPenney to fire DeGeneres.

The group said it objected to DeGeneres because she is openly gay.

“Funny that JCPenney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of its customers are traditional families,” the group said.

The 54-year-old DeGeneres, who publicly came out in 1997, is the host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and is a spokesperson for CoverGirl and American Express. DeGeneres married actress Portia DeRossi in 2008.

JCPenney has said that it “stands behind its partnership with Ellen DeGeneres.”

“Insulting customers by ignoring us will not be tolerated,” the group said. “OMM members can shop elsewhere if JCPenney does not appreciate our business. Unless JCPenney decides to be neutral in the culture war and listen to customers in a considerate fashion, their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.”

One Million Moms has instructed members to abandon calls to the company's corporate office and shift their protest to local store managers.

“Local managers are more likely to listen to your concerns and pass them along to the corporate office,” the group noted.

An online petition in support of DeGeneres launched by media advocacy and anti-defamation group GLAAD had attracted nearly 30,000 signatures by Saturday morning.