Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday responded to calls to have her fired as the spokesperson for JCPenney because she is gay.

The group One Million Moms, which is closely associated with the Christian conservative group American Family Association (AFA), said it objected to DeGeneres because the comedian is openly gay.

“By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years,” the group said.

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

The 54-year-old DeGeneres, who publicly came out in 1997, is a spokesperson for CoverGirl and American Express.

DeGeneres began her The Ellen DeGeneres Show opening monologue by cheering a federal court's ruling declaring unconstitutional California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.

“There was some good news for marriage equality in California yesterday,” DeGeneres said. “For a long time, same-sex marriage was not legal. Then, here in California, it was legal for like 25 minutes. Then it was not legal again because of something called Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage. And I'm happy to say that yesterday an appeals court ruled that Prop was unconstitutional.”

DeGeneres married actress Portia De Rossi in 2008 during those “25 minutes” when such unions were legal.

“This leads me into something else I would like to talk about,” she said as she veered into talking about the protest and JCPenney's continued support.

“And normally, I try not to pay attention to my haters – but this time I'd like to talk about it, because my haters are my motivators.”

“First of all, being gay or pro-gay isn't a bandwagon. You don't get a free ride anywhere. There's no music. And occasionally we'll sing We Are Family but that's about it.”

“I usually don't talk about stuff like this on my show, but I really want to thank everyone who is supporting me. Here are the values I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you'd want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That's what I stand for … I also believe in dance.”

DeGeneres also took a swipe at the group's “rounding up to the nearest million” its 40,000 membership. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)