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Friday, July 18, 2008

Gay-Marriage Opponents Boycott McDonald's Over Claim They Spread Hate

The AFA initiated a boycott of McDonald's because the fast-food giant joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, placing an executive on the group's board of directors. Today they accuse McDonald's of Equating Defense of Marriage with 'Hate'
The American Family Association (AFA) is a group that opposes same-sex marriages and it was reported in the Washington Post on July 4, 2008, that the AFA had launched a boycott against McDonald's saying they have refused to "stay neutral in the cultural war over homosexuality."

The AFA asked McDonald's to remove themselves from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), with the association's president, Tim Wildmon, stating, "We're saying that there are people who support AFA who don't appreciate their dollars from the hamburgers they bought being put into an organization that's going to fight against the values they believe in."

McDonald's declined to do so with their U.S. Spokesperson, Bill Whitman, saying, "Hatred has no place in our culture. That includes McDonald's, and we stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment."

McDonald's has also made a $20,000 contribution to NGLCC.

The AFA has even gone as far as to set up a website online which includes information, petition and activist planning.

That website, called Boycott McDonald's states on it's main page:

What the boycott of McDonald's IS NOT about

* This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals.
* It is not about homosexuals eating at McDonald's.
* It is not about how homosexual employees are treated.

What the boycott of McDonald's IS about

It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars. McDonald's has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage.

That statement made by Whitman to the Washington Post has caused other conservative and religious groups to join the boycott against McDonald's, accusing them of equating the defense of traditional marriage with hatred.

Four pro-family conservative groups held a news conference in front of McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, where Matt Barber who is the director of cultural affairs of one of those four groups, Liberty Counsel, said, "I can’t believe that McDonald’s would be so short-sighted that it would allow this spokesperson to go off half-cocked and insult tens of millions of Americans who support the traditional definition of marriage."

The other two groups, besides the AFA and Liberty Counsel, that have joined the boycott are , Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and the Illinois Family Institute.

In an interview with Cybercast News Service (CNS), the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Peter LaBarbera, asserts that the Christians that are opposed to same-sex marriages do so because of moral and practical reasons and not because they "hate" homosexuals.

LaBarbera goes on to tell CNS that "Morality is not hate. Judeo-Christian beliefs are not bigotry. This is a canard that the homosexual activists have been pushing for years – that if you oppose homosexual activism you are somehow a ‘bigot,’ or a ‘hater’ or a ‘homophobe.’ It’s a scandal to see a spokesman for a seemingly pro-family organization like McDonald’s echoing the gay line like this.”

McDonald’s did not respond directly to questions asking if Whitman’s comments were in context and if an insult was intended, but the company did provide Cybercast News Service with a statement, attributed to Pat Harris, chief diversity officer for McDonald’s Corporation.

“At McDonald’s, we respect and value everyone,” Harris said. “Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives and integral parts of our culture. We have a long and proud history of leadership in these areas and continually strive to maintain a work environment where everyone feels valued and accepted.

“We recognize and appreciate the contributions diverse groups and individuals bring to our society, including McDonald’s. We stand behind and support everyone’s right to live and work in a society free from discrimination and harassment,” Harris added.

The NGLCC did not provide a spokesperson to CNS either for individual questions, but they did provide a prepared statement which said:

“The main focus of the NGLCC is to connect major corporations with LGBT-owned (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered) businesses that want to ensure their diverse supply chain looks like the customer and employee bases they have, or the customer and employee bases they are trying to attract."

A company's decision to become a corporate partner doesn't reflect its entrance into the so-called ‘culture wars,’ as the conservative AFA suggested, but rather its commitment to diversity in the workplace and in its supplier relationships.”

In response to that statement, LaBarbera notes "McDonald’s paid $20,000 so that one of its top executives could have a seat on the (NGLCC’s) board of directors. How is that not an endorsement of the homosexual agenda?"

Cross posted from a piece I wrote at Digital Journal.