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Wal-Mart Drops The Gays

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Wal-Mart’s love affair with the gays has come to an end. The mega-retailer joined forces with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce last year, but has again folded to conservative pressure and disavowed its gay ways. From Fortune:

“We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to GLBT groups,” said Mona Williams, the company’s senior vice president of corporate communications. Individual stores can still donate to gay groups.

By way of explanation, Ms. Williams cited a policy adopted last fall saying that Wal-Mart would not make corporate contributions “to support or oppose highly controversial issues” unless they directly relate to the company’s ability to serve its customers.

While one would expect an outcry from gay activists, it seems even they, like the AFA, can’t quit Wal-Mart.

Selisse Berry from Out & Equal – a group that declares itself “the pre-eminent national organization devoted to the (LGBT) community in the workplace” – insisted the group will continue to support Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart continues to engage on the issue of worker equality, and we will support them in that…This is a marathon, not a sprint, and so long as Wal-Mart keeps its doors open, we hope to give them encouragement.

Human Rights Campaign also says they’ll keep working with Wal-Mart, “With a company as large as Wal-Mart, it’s not going to happen as fast as many of us would like.”

Gay rights non-profits may be willing to look the other way, but at least one Wal-Mart employee’s not having it:

I thought the company was moving in the right direction. But last week changed everything. Pulling funding from GLBT organizations is a slap in the face to gay employees and it sends a very clear message. Diversity within Wal-Mart is only partially inclusive. They’re catering to their conservative base.

A Wal-Mart employee who’s more in step with gay rights than gay rights activists? Have we stepped into a parallel dimension?

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jun 22, 2007
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 9 Comments
    • allstarecho
      allstarecho

      And this surprises whom??

      And who is surprised that HRC defends Wal-Mart??

      Not me on both accounts.

      Jun 22, 2007 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ConsensusBanality
      ConsensusBanality

      It’s unfortunate that Wal-Mart views support for basic human rights as a “highly controversial issue.”

      Jun 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WWH
      WWH

      Typical. I used to think they should be allowed in NYC. No more.

      Jun 22, 2007 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      That’s the big thing Consensus: the message we, as glbt people and their allies, need to send is that basic human rights aren’t “highly controversial issues” and that if people accept this as some sort of valid debate, as if it’s okay to decide whether we’re first class or sub class human, then that’s a bigoted opinion.

      In any event, I don’t see that many gay men shopping in Walmart. Hopefully, I’m right about that. No one should shop at Walmart, at least until they offer decent health benefits to everyone in their company, regardless of the time they’ve worked there, and allow their workers to unionize.

      Jun 22, 2007 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cjc
      cjc

      Even when they embraced us (temporarily), I tried not to shop there if I could, at least on labor principles.

      Jun 22, 2007 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GranDiva
      GranDiva

      Irony of Ironies, at the very moment I’m reading this article, the rotating ad server has popped up a Wal-Mart ad.

      Too, too too funny.

      Ya’ll really need to talk to someone about that. It’s just as funny as the e-mail I got from Oxygen promoting Mo’Niques Fat Chance that prominently featured an ad for a quick weight loss program.

      Jun 22, 2007 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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