Pop quiz. How many corporations have felt the sting of a boycott from the American Family Association or other conservative groups? Don’t know? Well, join the club. I’m not even sure THEY know how many companies they’ve boycotted over the several decades of their bigoted history. Their targets are seemingly endless. Ford. McDonald’s. JC Penney. Ben & Jerry’s. The Home Depot. Target. PepsiCo. Starbucks. The list goes on and on.
Next question: How many of these boycotts actually work? If you answered anything other than “none,” then you’re correct. Oh, sure, they love to tout their victories, but these companies don’t change their strategies. Companies like The Home Depot and Starbucks have gone further, telling the hate groups to take a hike.
Final question: why are they so damned inconsistent in their boycotts? Nearly every major corporation in America has strong pro-LGBT policies in their workplace, and many of them donate to LGBT events and causes. Three years ago, the AFA launched its fury at PepsiCo for sponsoring several pride festivals. The outrage was heard around the country!
This year, Coca-Cola has sponsored pride festivals in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta (and those were just the three I looked for). Not only did they sponsor these events, they were the presenting sponsor of NYC Pride. That’s a lot of cash.
And what do we hear from the bigoted bunch? Zip. Nada. Bupkis. I guess neanderthals like Pepsi over Coke. Go figure.
The big hooplah over General Mills’ support for marriage equality has caught their eye — but Kellogg’s is still listed as one of the HRC’s best places to work for LGBT people. They’re pro-gay too. Don’t tell anyone.
Washington State is currently caught in the middle of a marriage equality referendum that has caught the eye of everyone close to the issue. Everyone from Starbucks to Microsoft has put their support behind the pro-equality cause, leaving the anti-gay crowd little to do but pout.
The National Organization for Marriage has an oh-so-brilliant strategy to tell people to go to Starbucks, buy a cup of coffee, and make a show of dumping it. Yeah. Buy a cup of coffee. Starbucks doesn’t care if you mix it with drano. You bought it. You paid for it. With real money, even. Congratulations! You paid to support marriage equality.
Two Microsoft founders have donated $100,000 each to support marriage equality. And I’m not talking about obscure, unknown people. This was Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Where is the call for a boycott from the AFA? They should go to Apple products! No. Wait… Apple is just as gay friendly. Well, then they should stop using computers! Where can they find a technology company that doesn’t support equality? Who’s out there that’s just as bigoted as Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer?
Here’s an idea, why don’t they google it? Whoops, no can do there pardner. Google has just launched a massive, international campaign to end homophobia and the criminalization of homosexuality around the globe. It’s a simple enough goal: Legalise Love: LGBT Rights Are Human Rights (Love that British spelling!). From their website:
Though our business and employees are located in offices around the world, our policies on non-discrimination are universal throughout Google. We are proud to be recognised as a leader in LGBT inclusion efforts, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality. Legalise Love is our call to decriminalise homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.
At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our 60 offices around the world, we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive. We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, as they do at work, and for LGBT communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are.
Funny, that. Sounds a lot like a speech that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave not too long ago.
On its page that details their initiative, Google not only calls for all of its 60 global offices to support their LGBT staff members, but to make a push for equality in their respective countries. They proudly tout their support for pride celebrations around the world. They’ve hosted two Queer Thinking seminars on internet activism, and they sponsored the Pink Dot celebration for two years.
Now they’re sponsoring World Pride in London. Their goal is to convince countries around the world to end their institutionalized homophobia and criminalizing of LGBT people. This is exactly the kind of thing that the AFA, FRC, and other anti-gay hate groups around the country gnashed their teeth over when the Obama administration changed our government’s foreign aid policy.
Hello, AFA? Where’s that boycott of all Google products? Oh, wait. You have an Android phone. Looks like you’ll have to switch to an iPhone. Nope… we’ve already discussed their pro-gay initiatives.
UPDATE 7/10/12: Looks like AFA is pondering an actual boycott. Too funny!
So, it’s quite obvious at this point that our hate group friends are not going to use any form of technology without supporting marriage equality. They’re increasingly unable to do their grocery shopping without supporting equality. They can’t go out to eat without supporting equality. Oh, to be back in the day when they could boycott someone and actually have another brand to support.
They can stop using Google, easily! Why, they can switch to Bing! Uh, no. Damn. Bing is owned by Microsoft. Let’s go back to AOL, then! No dice there. AOL owns HuffPost, which has a large pro-LGBT section, as well as a rather gay-friendly diversity clause.
It’s quite obvious that these groups hope that we don’t know their tactics and that we don’t notice that they’re picking only fights they think they can win (even though they ultimately lose in the end).
On the flip side, the numbers of corporations that support anti-gay groups has dwindled significantly. In fact, I actively boycott only three companies. The first is Chick Fil-A, who has donated millions of dollars in the past few years to anti-gay groups and hate groups.
Next, I refuse to buy Exxon gas. They have actively worked to curtail LGBT rights and obstinately refuse to add diversity clauses that support sexual orientation in their company nondiscrimination policy.
The third is Carmike Cinemas, for whom I used to work as a manager… and my boycott for them has nothing to do with LGBT rights — but the fact that they sucked the life out of me for six years, and I’m not gonna give them one red damn cent again. Ever. It’s principle, you see.
I’m sure there are a few other companies out there that are anti-gay. For example, there’s Jitters and Bliss, a coffee company that will donate a percentage of their profits of any cup of coffee when you enter “marriage” as a promotional code. The recipient of that donation? Why, the National Organization for Marriage, of course! For its part, NOM hailed Jitters and Bliss for staying “neutral in the culture war.”
Apparently, supporting marriage equality is “taking sides,” but donating to a group whose sole purpose is to tear apart LGBT families is “staying neutral.” Got it? Good. Now for Jitters and Bliss, I’m waiting for them to REALLY be neutral and come up with a similar program for “equality” as a promotional code. I’m not going to hold my breath. For that matter, I’m not gonna rush to their site and buy their coffee, either.
Nearly every major media corporation has pro-gay leanings. If the hate groups were to boycott every technology company that supports LGBT causes, they’d be using smoke signals to broadcast their bile. In the end, corporations are pretty united in their message to the hate groups:
Boycott all of us. Please. You people belong in the dark ages anyway.