US anti-gay groups reinstate Ford boycott

Angela D’Amboise | March 15, 2006

DEtroit — The battle with Ford Motor Co. continues as 19 anti-gay groups have announced plans to reinstate a boycott, claiming the automaker reneged on an agreement to stop supporting gay rights organizations.

The groups went live with a web site Monday urging supporters not to buy Ford vehicles after the automaker said last December it would run advertisements for all of its eight brands in gay publications.

As reported on GayWired.com, The American Family Association, which is leading this latest effort, ended a boycott of Ford last year after it claimed the car manufacturer was pulling all advertising from gay publications per its request.

In December, Ford said it would stop advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands in gay publications to reduce marketing costs. But several gay rights groups raised concerns about the plan and met with the automaker, leading Ford to continue advertising for Jaguar and Land Rover and ad five of its other brands to campaigns with gay media.

Ads for Volvo were never pulled. ”Ford has the right to financially support homosexual groups promoting homosexual marriage, but at the same time consumers have a right not to purchase automobiles made by Ford,” said AFA Chairman Donald Wildmon in a statement.

According to a statement released to the Associated Press, Ford said it was “proud of its tradition of treating all with respect and we remain focused on what we do best, building and selling the most innovative cars and trucks worldwide.” Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes declined further comment.

Wildmon and other leading conservatives wrote Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford in January, asking him to remove the automaker "from involvement in the cultural war."

According to AFA's director of special projects Randy Sharp, Ford's chairman “refused to acknowledge, much less reply, to our concerns.”

Brad Luna, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, responded to the latesy boycott by saying “clear trends towards fairness, nondiscrimination, inclusion and acceptance of gays in corporate America are unstoppable.”

”Any attempts to turn back the clock such as this one are out of step with the values of the majority of Americans,” Luna said. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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