Some supporters of traditional marriage are protesting the fast food corporate giant McDonald’s over its decision to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and its spokesman’s remarks suggesting those who disapprove of homosexual acts are driven by hatred.
The American Family Association had organized a boycott of McDonald’s for joining the NGLCC, Cybercast News Service reports. The boycott coalition also objects to the corporation’s donation of $20,000 to the chamber and the chamber membership of Richard Ellis, McDonald’s vice president of communications.
The announcement of the boycott prompted McDonald’s spokesman Bill Whitman to say in response “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.”
The comment was an “insult” according to Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs at the Liberty Counsel, which supports the boycott.
“He insulted tens of millions of Americans who believe that the historical definition of marriage between one man and woman is important and crucial to society. He said that we’re haters and we’re motivated by hate. That, on its face, is a bold-face lie,” he told Cybercast News Service.
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, also attacked the comments.
“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,” LaBarbera said.
McDonald’s did not respond directly to questions about Whitman’s comments. However a letter attributed to McDonald’s chief diversity officer Pat Harris, said:
“At McDonald’s, we respect and value everyone… 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.”
A statement from NGLCC president Justin Nelson and CEO Chance Mitchell said the main focus of the organization 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.”
Labarbera challenged the statement, saying the NGLCC is “a homosexual group which is working to extend advances made by homosexual activist groups over the last two decades or more” that also takes positions on legislation that concerns homosexuality.
“McDonald’s paid $20,000 so that one of its top executives could have a seat on the (NGLCC’s) board of directors,” LaBarbera said, according to Cybercast News Service. “How is that not an endorsement of the homosexual agenda?"