JCPenney's embrace of the gay community is the reason for its sales woes, Al Lewis of Down Jones Newswires claims.

New CEO Ron Johnson is in the middle of a makeover for JCPenney which includes new brands and a pricing model which forgoes coupons and sales for everyday low prices.

First quarter sales plummeted 20 percent and most business analysts pointed to the chain's new pricing structure as the culprit.

Lewis, however, suggested that Johnson's embrace of the gay community is alienating JCPenney customers.

“Mr. Johnson is alienating Penney's traditional customers in a bid to attract new customers from higher socio-economic segments that now shop Macy's, Nordstrom and Target,” wrote Lewis, whose column appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

Lewis then opined that One Million Moms, the Christian conservative group which has vociferously objected to JCPenney's use of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson because she is gay, might have a point. One Million Moms also criticized JCPenney for including a two-dad family in a Father's Day ad.

It is “fair to say this organization, though often branded as antigay, is expressing a sentiment among the middlebrow demographic that JCPenney serves.”

“If you support the gay community, please shop JCPenney,” he added. “Diversity, inclusion, acceptance for all – these are laudable values. The problem is, well, I have never actually met an openly gay person who openly shops at JCPenney.”