Monday, September 26, 2011

Retailers and Aid to Anti-Gay Organizations

A recent article from the New York Times details a link between major U.S. retailers and prominent anti-gay organizations. Companies such as Apple, Wal-Mart and Microsoft regularly do business with affiliate marketers, which direct online customers from their websites to those of the companies. The affiliate marketers, in return, receive a commission. In this case, Charity Giveback Group (CGBG) uses a share of the commission to donate to "Christian charities" such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, the latter of which was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year. The Family Research Council, headed by former Louisiana congressman Tony Perkins, has had a long history of disseminating false and dehumanizing propaganda about LGBT people, claiming that they will eventually "recognize pedophiles as 'prophets' of a new sexual order", making the statement that they "will not inherit the kingdom of God" following the murder of Matthew Shepard, saying that they "spit on the most sacred Person [Jesus Christ] revered and worshipped by millions", and compared them to Satanists. Petitions have largely been effective in convincing retailers to sever ties with CGBG, as 100 companies including Microsoft and Apple have ended their association with the marketer. However, several companies such as Delta, PetSmart, Sam's Club, Target and Wal-Mart initially agreed to leave the network, but later rejoined.

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