Yay, Christian radicals...
June 1, 2005 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Ford Motor Company is under attack by the American Family Association for supporting gay rights, or as the AFA calls it, "affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle". Other targets of the AFA include Carls Jr., Kraft Foods, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Old Navy, and NutriSystem Inc. Previous targets include Walt Disney Co., Wal-Mart, and Microsoft.
posted by C17H19NO3 (51 comments total)
 
Hey look another boycott no one cares about. Nothing to see here.
posted by MrLint at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2005


And Kraft Foods basically tells them to "fuck off."

From an e-mail message to its employees:
From: Marc Firestone, Executive Vice President, Corporate Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Kraft Foods Inc.
Subject: Kraft's Contribution to 2006 Gay Games

The true test of any commitment is how you respond when challenged. Kraft is experiencing this to a degree right now, as a result of our decision to be one of several contributors to the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. The games will bring together thousands of athletes in a competition that will take place in our corporate hometown.

In recent days, the company has received many e-mails, the majority of them generated through the America Family Association, which objects to our sponsorship. We also have received calls and e-mails - - not as many, but equally passionate - - thanking us for supporting this event. A member of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's team said, 'We applaud the businesses that are sponsors of the Gay Games, including Kraft Foods.'

You may have questions or might have had questions from friends and family about our contribution to this event. While Kraft certainly doesn't go looking for controversy, we have long been dedicated to support the concept and the reality of diversity. It's the right thing to do and it's good for our business and our work environment.
Diversity makes us a stronger company and connects us with the diversity that exists among the consumers who buy our products.

Diversity is more than a word many people like to say. At Kraft we truly respect all kinds of differences. And diversity is not a selective concept. By definition, it's nothing if not inclusive. We respect diversity of ethnicity, gender, experience, background, personal style and yes, sexual orientation and gender identity. Recognizing, respecting and valuing these differences helps us be a more successful business and a workplace where all employees can realize their full potential.

For more than a decade, we have had employee councils that promote our awareness of diversity. The newest of our nine diversity councils is the Rainbow Council, which strives to provide a forum for support and networking among gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender employees; raise awareness within Kraft and promote involvement in the community. Each council has an executive sponsor and I have been the Rainbow Council's sponsor since last year.

Through all of our councils, we support various initiatives that demonstrate how strongly we believe in diversity, through involvement in the community. Our sponsorship of the 2006 Gay Games is one of almost 1,700 cash and in-kind grants we make annually.

It can be difficult when we are criticized. It's easy to say you support a concept or a principle when nobody objects. The real test of commitment is how one reacts when there are those who disagree. I hope you share my view that our company has taken the right stand on diversity, including its contribution to the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago.
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2005


"affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle"....Mary Kay Cosmetics, Old Navy,

Of course Mary Kay affirms and promotes homosexuality, it's a cosmetics company. And Old Navy? You seen those commercials?

This is one of those cases where it's a matter of capitalism versus theocracy, and right-thinking people will have to support capitalism here, since the fact that people like their stuff more than they hate gays is what will defeat the AFA.

On preview: Good for Kraft! If more companies responded to protestors of all kinds that way, the world would be a far less aggravating place.

*eats brick of Velveeta in tribute*
posted by jonmc at 8:14 AM on June 1, 2005


I guess they liked Ford better when the company had a tradition of moral values that more closely embodied the spirit of bigoted fundamentalists such as themselves.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:16 AM on June 1, 2005


Hey, now I know where to shop!

Jeez, Wal-Mart did something good for a change? Noooooooooo! I kind of feel like I did that time 11 years ago when the Toronto Sun ran a picture of a pant-suited and glowing Lauren Hutton in their SUNshine girl spot.
posted by orange swan at 8:20 AM on June 1, 2005


xquzyhpyr, you beat me to it. perhaps henry ford's anti-semitical ways will assuage their complaints. now everyone's got a reason not to buy ford.
posted by pinto at 8:22 AM on June 1, 2005


Because hatred is a family value.
posted by nofundy at 8:29 AM on June 1, 2005


it's ok, nofundy. Let's go put on makeup and eat Cheez Whiz.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on June 1, 2005


AFA founder Donald Wildmon's wars on Maya Angelou, the NEA, David Wojnarowicz, and Howard Stern.
posted by digaman at 8:38 AM on June 1, 2005


Ford, now? They were founded by a wannabe Nazi and their cars are crap. But on the other hand, they're nice to gay people. Wal-Mart, Disney, Mary Kay, Old Navy, and Microsoft also... how on Earth can I position myself diametrically opposed to the AFA and everything it stands for while still being a responsibly-minded liberal American?

Seriously, I'm torn.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:46 AM on June 1, 2005


What's a good way to let Kraft know that jonmc's Velveeta and my Cracker Barrel cheddar were purchased as a tribute to their policies? (sheesh, jonmc, at least buy a cheeselike substance that requires refrigeration!)

It seems like most big corporations have 800 numbers for consumer affairs, but do companies pay any attention to the calls? I always figured the phone numbers are to let irate customers call up and vent, then they send 'em a coupon for their next purchase. The matter stops there - no need for management to hear what consumers are pissed off about. So if I call Kraft and tell them I bought one little package of cheese to support their policies, will it do any good? (apart from giving the phone gal a good laugh at my naivete)

On Kraft's scale of operations, my purchase won't even register. So what's a good way to let a huge corporation know that you support their flipping the finger at AFA?
posted by Quietgal at 8:49 AM on June 1, 2005


how on Earth can I position myself diametrically opposed to the AFA and everything it stands for while still being a responsibly-minded liberal American?

See: Strange Bedfellows, Politics Making For

Seriously, people and groups are a mixed bag of good and bad, and selfishness and altruism. And in this case those companies are on the right side. Leave the binary dividing of everything into narrow "good" and "evil" categories to the fundies.
posted by jonmc at 8:49 AM on June 1, 2005


I wish the AFA made a product that I could boycott. What miserable asshat shitsuckers they are.

I'm in the same boat as Faint of Butt. That is, I don't love these corporations and I don't really buy their products. So do I start shopping at Wal-Mart because of their politics? Well, no. They simply don't have anything that I want in addition to the fact that, despite their tolerance of homosexuality, they remain a frightening corporation.
Nevertheless, they're the biggest employer in America and countless millions shop at their stores. But will shopping or working at Wal-Mart cause their corporate policy to rub off on you? Will you become a tolerant person? It'd be nice but I think that their power to affect any change isn't manifest in the attitudes of their employees or customers. It's in the size, scope, and power of the company. So, the fact that the biggest company in America has a tolerant attitude is a good sign. Maybe they should project that beyond their employee policy.
posted by Jon-o at 8:58 AM on June 1, 2005


So, the fact that the biggest company in America has a tolerant attitude is a good sign.

Or perhaps tolerance is good for the bottom line. Alienating 10% of the population, and those who sympathize with them, can't be good for business.
posted by jonmc at 9:07 AM on June 1, 2005


Alienating 10% of the population, and those who sympathize with them, can't be good for business.

Well, who's a larger portion of the population? Gays or the people who hate them?
posted by Jon-o at 9:09 AM on June 1, 2005


Well, who's a larger portion of the population? Gays or the people who hate them?

Which portion of the population spends more money and is more brand loyal? I'd wager it'd be gays and gay-freindly folks, and what these companies are doing seems to back me up on that. And while there's plenty of people who are passively anti-gay, and still more who are utterly indifferent, the vocal active gay-haters are a small but loud minority who these companies have probably realized they can write off without affecting profits.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2005


Well, who's a larger portion of the population? Gays or the people who hate them?

Probably gays. The hatemongers just make 10 times the noise.
posted by Foosnark at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2005


I neither buy nor boycott based upon anyone's research but my own.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:14 AM on June 1, 2005


What's a good way to let Kraft know that jonmc's Velveeta and my Cracker Barrel cheddar were purchased as a tribute to their policies?

Call Kraft and thank them for doing the right thing: 1-800-323-0768.
posted by ericb at 9:17 AM on June 1, 2005


We also have received calls and e-mails - - not as many, but equally passionate - - thanking us for supporting this event.

Kraft is listening and reading what folks have to say.
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on June 1, 2005


I am intrigued and would like to subscribe to your newsletter, WolfDaddy.
posted by odinsdream at 9:21 AM on June 1, 2005


the vocal active gay-haters are a small but loud minority who these companies have probably realized they can write off without affecting profits.

The next step is in convincing the government that they too can write these crackpots off.
posted by Jon-o at 9:24 AM on June 1, 2005


Here you go, odin: MAKE UP YOUR OWN DAMN MIND!

That will be $299.99. Thank you.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:25 AM on June 1, 2005


"Recent estimates gauge the gay consumer market with more than $450 billion in buying power. No wonder the Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, and other major business media are closely watching for trends and seeking expert data." [Harris Interactive].

Also, from Witek Combs:
New National Study Shows Gays More Likely Than Non-Gays to Book Travel Online

New National Survey Looks at Differences in Media Consumption by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual (GLB) and Heterosexual Adults

Gay Buying Power Projected at $610 Billion in 2005

Gays Lead Non-Gays in Cell Phone Use, Cable TV and HDTV Viewership

posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on June 1, 2005


I am intrigued and would like to subscribe to your newsletter, WolfDaddy.

me too.
anyway, the same-sexers' obnoxious insistence on being considered as actual human beings never ceases to surprise. they obviously haven't read that famous new science textbook, Leviticus
bah.
Let's go put on Cheez Whiz and eat makeup
posted by matteo at 9:27 AM on June 1, 2005


oh, and where do I sign to join a boycott of the American Family Association?
posted by matteo at 9:28 AM on June 1, 2005


Gays/lesbians = a significant demographic when it comes to buying power.
posted by ericb at 9:31 AM on June 1, 2005


The next step is in convincing the government that they too can write these crackpots off.

Sadly, some of those crackpots are at the highest echelons of our government. Therein lies the rub.

Let's go put on Cheez Whiz and eat makeup

Mmmm, Max Factor.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on June 1, 2005


And ... a demographic group easily mobilized. One need only recall the Coors boycott in the 80's.
posted by ericb at 9:32 AM on June 1, 2005


Does the AFA do anything but make these incessant little pronouncements about the evils of corporate sponsored gayness? Seems like a fairly narrow and rather stupid charter.

Funny how idiotic boycotts make strange bedfellows. I'm siding with Wal-Mart against the AFA? Damn, now I'm going to have to go and take another shower to get the stink off of me.
posted by fenriq at 9:37 AM on June 1, 2005


How to thank Kraft:
Buy and enjoy Cote d'Or Belgian chocolate. Its our favorite of ordinary Belgian chocolate. We like the Noir de Noir, its darker than ordinary dark chocolate without being ridiculous.

I was shocked when I learned Kraft owned Cote d'Or. Now I don't mind so much.

(My partner is Belgian. We're QUEER! Bhu hahaha)
posted by Goofyy at 9:38 AM on June 1, 2005


Well, I called Kraft to express my support. I guess now I don't have to buy their mediocre cheese (I'd rather support my neighborhood cheese store anyway). Win-win, perhaps?
posted by Quietgal at 9:46 AM on June 1, 2005


Well, once should't drink Coors, gay or no. It's horsepiss. It was in '75, and still is 30 years later. Should I start drinking it if their CEO suddenly wears rainbow colors and slathers hawt queers all over their product?

Does the AFA do anything but make these incessant little pronouncements about the evils of corporate sponsored gayness?

Yes, they also make little pronouncements about how they are just too le tired to go on fighting Disney anymore. NOW FIRE ZE MISSLES!
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:48 AM on June 1, 2005


How to thank Kraft:

Carve a statue of two men having sex out of Velveeta and ask for federal funds to display it on public land. That'd be a hoot.

Well, once should't drink Coors, gay or no. It's horsepiss. It was in '75, and still is 30 years later. Should I start drinking it if their CEO suddenly wears rainbow colors and slathers hawt queers all over their product?

Good point, wolf, gay-freindly horsepiss is still horsepiss.
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on June 1, 2005


Should I start drinking it if their CEO suddenly wears rainbow colors and slathers hawt queers all over their product?

No. Nor should you because Mary Cheney was their liaison to the gay/lesbian community (and - that is a whole other story...don't get me started).
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on June 1, 2005


Well, who's a larger portion of the population? Gays or the people who hate them?

Are we counting closeted folks in this? 'Cause if so, helloooooooo, overlap!
posted by mkultra at 9:52 AM on June 1, 2005


Are we counting closeted folks in this? 'Cause if so, helloooooooo, overlap!

Ah yes, we need to be sure we include Jeff Gannon, Jim West and Ken Mehlman!
posted by ericb at 9:56 AM on June 1, 2005


I'm gonna go smoke a carton of Marlboros in honor of Kraft. Here's the Altria brand list, in case you want to know just how much stuff there is out there to avoid if you truly wanted to boycott Kraft. Wildmon is pond scum. So is Wal-Mart. But I'll take Wal-Mart over weasel-head anyday.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:10 AM on June 1, 2005


Just got off the phone with Elaine at Kraft. I think they are getting enough phone calls of support that they've been given a script or suggestions on how to thank callers. Give them a call, it only took a minute.

At any rate - you're not kidding about queer dollars. On June 11 @Pride, I, along with a business partner are launching PINK! Closetless Consumer's Companion here in New Mexico. It took a while to get rolling, but we've really had such positive feedback from the community that I already consider it a success.

People are always amazed at the brand loyalty, awareness and upgrade-likelihood of the queer consumer.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:28 AM on June 1, 2005


Wildmon is pond scum. So is Wal-Mart. But I'll take Wal-Mart over weasel-head anyday.

Well, Wal-Mart just wants to make a pantload of money. That i understand, even if I have beefs with how they do it. Wildmon wants to control people. That I don't understand or like. So I'll take Wal-Mart. lesser of two evils type of deal.
posted by jonmc at 10:38 AM on June 1, 2005


poor defenseless ford motor company, victim of those vicious christian rabblerousers! will the injustice never end?
posted by quonsar at 10:44 AM on June 1, 2005


"Recent estimates gauge the gay consumer market with more than $450 billion in buying power."

It seems to me that many if not most of the urban gays and lesbians here in LA are employed largely in creative jobs that average a much higher annual pay rate than the US population as a whole.

High income and no children = lots more buying power, especially for committed partners; Double Income, No Kids can certainly make for a very materially comfortable lifestyle.

(Actually as a single, never-married straight guy in a well-paying creative job, I'm sort of in that place too.)

Screw the noisy bigots. The corporations will always go where the profit is.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:11 AM on June 1, 2005


I wish the AFA made a product that I could boycott.

They do.

They are part of an umbrella corp that provides a Vaporware product called "God". Unfortunately the beta release is buggy as hell.
posted by srboisvert at 12:31 PM on June 1, 2005


I wish the AFA made a product that I could boycott.

They are part of an umbrella corp that provides a Vaporware product called "God". Unfortunately the beta release is buggy as hell.

Could we start a MetaFilter church and attend in protest? If God hears AFA talk, He's definitely reading MetaFilter too.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:22 PM on June 1, 2005


Could we start a MetaFilter church

*whips of batch of communion pancakes*
posted by jonmc at 1:26 PM on June 1, 2005


Voice support for cupport corporations!!? But wait... aren't corporations evil and stuff?
posted by tkchrist at 1:28 PM on June 1, 2005


cupport Huh?
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on June 1, 2005


Dyslexics Untie!

(I kid because I love...)
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on June 1, 2005


Holy crap, God reads Metafilter?!

*zips up*
posted by billybunny at 2:42 PM on June 1, 2005


[blatant stereotyping]

On the one hand, gays have more money to spend at Wal-Mart. On the other hand, gays are less likely to spend that money at Wal-Mart because of our hip, impeccable taste.

On the third hand of Zaphod Beeblebrox, between buying cheap food and clothes for their ten kids at the only shopping center within twenty miles of their trailer park and paying attention to the AFA boycott, well, dang, even fundamentalists are human. I think sometimes the rich televangelist-types forget that not everyone has a million people across the country sending them money every day.

[/blatant stereotyping]
posted by schroedinger at 3:16 PM on June 1, 2005


the christian fundamentalist wackjobs think they're engaged in a religious fight against what they think is wrong. the truth is, they're engaged in a cultural war using religion as the front.
posted by Tlahtolli at 6:08 PM on June 1, 2005


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