By Hamilton Nolan DETROIT: The American Family Association (AFA) is launching a boycott of Ford in the latest case of a conservative group targeting a corporation for of its perceived support of gay rights.
The AFA created a website, boycottford.com, detailing its objections to the automaker?s record of donating to gay groups and marketing to the GLBT community. On only its second day, the group claimed more than 80,000 people had signed its ?Boycott Ford Pledge.?
AFA special projects manager Randy Sharp said the group is using its 200 Christian radio stations and its internal magazine to promote the boycott. It will continue, he said, until Ford stops giving ?enormous amounts of money? to gay causes.
Followers of the AFA have also begun contacting local Ford dealers. ?[The dealers are] local businessmen,? Sharp said. ?They agree with us. They?re really disturbed with what Ford is doing.?
Marcey Evans, a corporate news manager for Ford, said that the company?s practices are similar to those of others in its industry, and that it is being targeted unfairly. The company released a statement that read, ?Ford values all people?And we are glad to see that this spirit of inclusion is evident in the practices of other automakers.?
Evans said that Ford?s charitable donations, marketing efforts, and corporate policies are in line with its corporate philosophy of support for diversity. ?At this point, no actions [in response to the boycott] are planned,? she said.
The AFA recently called off boycotts of The Walt Disney Co. and Procter & Gamble that were also related to gay rights issues. Microsoft was recently pressured to change its stance on a GLBT public policy issue under threat of a boycott.