People for the American Way reports that the American Family Association has been campaigning against Home Depot for months because the company supports GLBT rights by sponsoring pride events. The ultra-conservative AFA can’t stand the thought of GLBT people having the same rights as everyone else, or being able to live their lives free of harassment. PFAW reported on 2 June:
Today, the AFA’s Executive Vice President, Buddy Smith, traveled to a Home Deport board meeting to present the company with a petition bearing nearly a half-million names of those who have vowed to stop shopping at Home Deport stores until the company decides to “remain neutral in the culture war.”
Rather than caving, though, Frank Blake — the Chairman of Home Depot — apparently told Mr. Smith where to go and what to do with his petition when he got there. All right, he was probably more polite than that, but I can’t help imagining. 🙂 Check out this video to see Mr. Smith gravely reporting his failure to Bryan Fischer.
I love the bit in the video where Mr. Smith claims that they’re persecuting GLBT people “because we love our neighbors.” Umm, right. All their neighbors except the gay ones. But they’re going to hell, so who cares about them anyway? [sigh]
I do hope, though, that other companies learn from Home Depot’s example that businesses don’t have to cave under the pressures of ultra-conservative hatred and bigotry.
And a note on the concept of “remaining neutral in the culture war.” Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” I think he was dead on target there. When a marginalized group is being oppressed by a group with more power, there’s no such thing as neutrality. If you’re not on the side of the oppressed, then you support the oppressor by doing nothing. The American Family Association is hoping that most of the people and companies in this country will be “neutral” in conflicts like this, because that neutrality is a win for their side. Support Home Depot in not being neutral.
Thanks to BoingBoing for the link.