Pro-family group ends McDonald's boycott
Published 12 October 2008 | Eric Young, Christian Post
|PIC1|Pro-family groups this week lauded the recent decision by McDonald's to no longer support activists working to advance the homosexual agenda.
"The Big Mac attack on family values is finally over," exclaimed Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, to supporters Friday. "After a five-month boycott, Americans finally got what they ordered - McDonald's agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda."
In late March, McDonald's sparked controversy after the company's vice president of communications joined the board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) - an organisation "dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual (LGBT) business community."
The American Family Association, in response, said that the move - combined with a $20,000 donation McDonald's handed over to the NGLCC and the fast-food chain's frequent and boastful support in sponsoring gay pride parades - was detrimental to pro-family causes and the sanctity of marriage. The AFA requested McDonald's to remove its name and logo from the NGLCC website and drop the vice president of communications' endorsement of the organisation.
When McDonald's rebuffed the requests, AFA began asking its two million supporters to boycott the popular fast-food chain.
"[T]he company has ramped up its support of the gay agenda and it leaves us no option but to call for a boycott," said AFA Chairman Don Wildmon in a statement earlier this summer.
Whilst some criticised AFA's efforts, accusing them of being "haters", the pro-family group emphasised that the boycott was not about hiring homosexuals, or homosexuals eating at McDonald's, or how homosexual employees are treated.
"Our concern was: Here is a family-friendly company that has, all of a sudden, joined hands and became a partner and ally with an organisation that is absolutely attacking the moral foundation of our nation; trying to redefine marriage in our nation," recalled Buddy Smith, executive assistant to AFA's chairman.
"All we were asking is that they just simply be neutral in the culture wars and focus on doing their business and remain neutral," he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Supporters of the boycott further noted that McDonald's could have chosen to support efforts such as those against poverty, hunger or child abuse rather than controversial issues.
After the months-long boycott, McDonald's eventually informed AFA of their decision to remain neutral in the culture war regarding homosexual "marriage", reporting that they have no plans to renew their membership in NGLCC when it expires in December.
Furthermore, in a September 23 memo revealed this week to AFA, the nation's No 1 hamburger chain told franchised owners that its policy is "to not be involved in political and social issues".
"McDonald's remains neutral on same sex marriage or any 'homosexual agenda' as defined by the American Family Association," the memo stated.
Following McDonald's report to AFA, group chair Wildmon told supporters that the boycott of McDonald's was ending.
"We appreciate the decision by McDonald's to no longer support political activity by homosexual activist organisations," he stated in his message on Thursday.
Earlier this year, AFA ended a two-year boycott of Ford Motor Co, saying the company had met most of its demands, which included ending donations to groups that support same-sex "marriage".
Other companies that have been the targets of AFA boycotts include 7-Eleven, the Walt Disney Company, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Most recently, on August 25, the AFA announced its boycott of Hallmark Cards for their decision to start selling same-sex wedding cards.