Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fundies Now Aiming at Queer-Friendly Corporations

(Link) Not satisified with infiltrating the US government, Christian fundamentalists are setting their sites on disrupting commerce. Remember how they scared us all away from Gay Day at Disney?


LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
By The Associated Press

One conservative Christian group's crusade against corporate support of gay rights appears to be ending while another is just beginning.

The American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., says it is cancelling a proposed boycott of Ford Motor (F), which the organization announced in May but suspended until this month. The group had criticized Ford for recruiting gay employees and offering benefits to same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, says it is withdrawing its funds from Wells Fargo (WFC) because of the San Francisco bank's support of gay organizations.

"Focus on the Family has elected to end its banking relationship with Wells Fargo motivated primarily by the bank's ongoing efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda," said Focus President and CEO Jim Daly in a statement on the organization's website.

Conservative Christian groups increasingly have targeted corporate campaigns that reach out to Americans who represent alternative lifestyles.

In May, the American Family Association ended a nine-year boycott of Walt Disney (DIS) over Disney's decision to extend benefits to same-sex couples and promote gay-related events at its theme parks. That boycott appeared to have little effect since Disney reported higher earnings and increased theme park attendance during that time. However, the rapprochement with Ford raised concerns by gay rights supporters.

Ford spokesman Mike Moran confirmed that the automaker's Jaguar and Land Rover brands no longer will advertise in gay publications while there will be no change at Volvo. He said the decision was not linked to the boycott. "The decision with regard to advertising was a business decision," Moran said Tuesday.

Several gay rights groups questioned whether there may have been a secret deal between Ford and the American Family Association.

One group called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays said that it wanted Ford to repudiate any deal to end support of gay causes.

" We expect Ford to publicly reaffirm its historic support for our community. And, we expect Ford to meet with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) representatives this week to resolve these concerns," the statement said.

Moran said the group needn't worry. He said Ford made it clear at meetings with the American Family Association that the company would continue its policies recognizing the rights of its gay employees.

Ford is proud of its non-discrimination policies, Moran said, adding: "Those policies will not change."

In a statement announcing the cancellation of its proposed boycott, American Family Association Chairman Donald Wildmon said, "While we still have a few differences with Ford, we feel that our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future."

Meanwhile, the group Focus on the Family did not immediately return calls seeking comment on its decision to withdraw its funds from Wells Fargo. Its statement announcing the withdrawal did not say how much money the group had deposited with the institution, the fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets.

Wells Fargo's vice president of business development, Chris Hammond, said the bank had provided a $50,000 grant to support the leadership counsel of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. He said it did not, however, agree to match contributions as the alliance had advertised and Focus criticized.

"That being said, we do support many communities, and we're proud to be a diverse organization," Hammond said.

Hammond said he told Focus officials that Wells Fargo contributes to many charities "including non-profit agencies Focus on the Family believes in."

Glennda Testone, spokeswoman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, issued a statement criticizing Focus on the Family's action.

"Let's just call this what it is — another attempt by an anti-gay group to try and intimidate companies into not supporting or doing business with gays and lesbians," Testone said. She added, "Thankfully, corporate America knows that discriminating against a group of people based on who they love is not only bad for business, it's just plain wrong."

badphairy said...

Yeah, they boycotted Ford for about 2.5 minutes, and they've been boycotting Disney....too bad Disney hasn't noticed.

Focus on the Family just announced a boycott on Wells Fargo. How Christlike, and forgiving thye are. I'm sure they've got plenty of cheeks to turn, where might those be?

Could it be that those who protest so mightily that they are "Christian" are the least christian of them all?

Details after death, news at 11