Michael Crawford

Militant Homosexual Lobby vs Wal Mart

Filed By Michael Crawford | November 25, 2007 10:34 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: American Family Association, gay consumers, gay marriage, gay rights, HRC, Walmart

While you and I were contemplating the things that we have to be thankful for, the American Family Association was busy spreading more anti-gay lies. In an action alert that the AFA sent to its email list they claim that the militant homosexual lobby has thrown down the hot pink gauntlet to "traditional marriage" supporters and said "put up or shut up."

If Wal-Mart sales go down, gays will claim victory in support of same-sex "marriage" benefits

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest homosexual organization, has issued a challenge to pro-traditional marriage supporters saying in essence: "Put up or shut up." They have called for a boycott of Wal-Mart while urging their supporters to buy from Target.

The reason? Wal-Mart refuses to offer "domestic benefits" (benefits given to married couples) to homosexual partners.

(emphasis in the original email)

The hullabaloo is over the HRC 2008 Buying for Equality Guide, which rates businesses in terms of their support for LGBT consumers and employees. As part of the release of the guide, HRC criticized Wal-Mart on the carpet for its backpedaling in support of its LGBT employees and consumers.

From USA Today:

Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.

Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO).

Wal-Mart rival Target (TGT) rated a "green" 80, meaning that "consumers should make every effort to support these businesses."

Wal-Mart has bucked a corporate trend of expanding benefits for gay employees, says Daryl Herrschaft, director of HRC's workplace project. He says two Fortune 500 companies offered domestic partner benefits, comparable to spouse benefits, in 1990. Today, 269 do.

This latest episode of the religious right screaming that the Gays are destroying all that is red, white and blue is nothing more than a feeble attempt to remain in the media eye and, more importantly, to raise cash from their supporters. Why advocate for the real needs of millions of American families when you can support a multi-billion dollar corporation and fatten your bank account?

Wal-Mart is one of the largest employers in the country and if it wants LGBT dollars then it has to be responsive to the needs and interests of its LGBT employees and consumers. That's the bottom line. If Wal-Mart refuses to improve its record on LGBT issues then we need to hit them on their bottom line.

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As if I need another reason to skip Wal-Mart's horrible stores... Their record of putting small businesses under, terrible employee relations, union-busting ways and lead council for shipping manufacturing jobs overseas was plenty good enough for me to turn to Target... (Plus they have better home decor stuff! LOL)

I agree. This is the latest in a long line of horrible practices from Wal-Mart. I think it is well worth paying a few cents more for products at other stores than support them.

And Bil’s right, Target has better home products. Not to mention that shopping in one is like going to a gay bar...

Do we need any more reasons to avoid Wal-Mart? Ugh. DPB's or not, they're one of the worst if not the worst retailer out there, and all people, LGBT or not, should be trying to run them out of business.

Maybe that's why they're trending the wrong way on this... queers are already avoiding Wal-Mart for one of the 378 other political reasons to do so, so they're just going after a different market.

HRC as usual is a little late and very feeble. The union movment has been boycotting Wal-Mart for decades and is investing money and effort into ongoing organizing drives.

NAFTA, Wal-Mart and the Clintons have gotten rich together. It began when the Clintons' law firm represented Wal-Mar and several other union busting companies. Their relationship was cemented duing the six years that Hillary Clinton sat on the Wal-Mart board of Directors.

Here’s the history. In north and central America NAFTA led to environmental disaster, union busting, the destruction of family farming, and a net drop in the standard of living in Mexicao, Canada and teh US. Unemployment, lowered wages, environmental ruin, foreclosures on homes and farms, the loss of union jobs, vast northward migrations of workers and farmers to escape grinding poverty, an astounding, hazardous growth of credit buying and the ubiquitous spread of Wal-Mart all followed in the wake of NAFTA. Richard Berner a leading analyst at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan says “Serious pressures are mounting on the US consumer on five fronts: Job growth is slowing, surging energy and food quotes are draining purchasing power, adjustable rate mortgages are resetting, lending standards are tightening, and housing wealth will likely decline. Do these dark clouds finally and ominously herald the perfect consumer storm?”

The most immediate cause is the permanent problem of the overextension of credit buying by working people low on income. When massive overtime or a second job aren’t enough out comes the plastic. Consumer credit was a balloon; now it’s the dirigible Hindenburg on steroids. And just as vulnerable.

Bill Clinton also promised a ‘time out’ on NAFTA when he was running in 1992 and he betrayed his constituents by signing it into law. As well, he and the Democrats, as they do now, consistently joined Republicans in giving more and more and more tax breaks to the rich and by deregulating industry. If you wonder why children die of salmonella and why Ford SUV’s like to flip over and why levees and bridges aren’t maintained you don’t have to look beyond deregulation. DOMA and DADT, NAFTA, tax cuts for the rich and deregulation were all bipartisan betrayals.

Hillary Clinton can be counted on to act the same way Bill Clinton did – her ‘time out’ is empty phrase mongering that will only be believed by those who want to believe. She’ll use FTA’s to bust unions and impoverish workers and farmers to make big bucks for bankers and multinational corporations. She, her Democratic congressional colleagues and their Republican cousins are hand puppets for the uberrich.

Wal-Mart passed GM as the world largest corporation in 2001 and aided by bipartisan presidential connections, corrupt laws like NAFTA, government union busting and deregulation, they haven’t looked back. Wal-mart employees are so underpaid that many qualify of Medicaid or Medical. We pay for the health benefits Wal-mart could pay for except, as CNN reports “If Wal-Mart, with its quarter-trillion dollars in annual sales, is almost unimaginably massive, then the Walton’s’ great wealth is its equal in a parallel universe of private fortunes. The Walton family is as rich as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined. Amid all the talk about how rich Teresa Heinz Kerry is, consider that the Walton family is 117 times wealthier.” Wal-Mart – always low wages.

But hey, the Clintons are Dixiecrats from Arkansas. Hillary Clinton sat on the Arkansas headquartered Wal-Mart Board of Directors for six years – whadja expect?

With Democrats like these who needs Republicans.

A Republican is a baboon in a human suit with a totalitarian christian attached at the hip and a Democrat is a Republican in drag.





droogie howitzer | November 25, 2007 7:25 PM

Before you all start curling your toes over Target, read this:
I worked for Target, and I can vouch for the reality of the article. "Wal-Mart Lite" is right, and then some. Target employees make no more than Wal-Mart employees, and their benefits package is as bad or worse. ("Work more, earn less.") Also, Target employees are micro-managed up the posterior, and written up for the slightest infractions. As for unions, that's as much a dirty, four-letter word at Target as it is at Wal-Mart, or any other big box retailer.
And as for Target's vaunted pro-LGBT policy and high rating from the (ha! ha! ha!) HRC, it's more show than substance. Individual Traget stores are only as LGBT-friendly as Team Leads and Store Exec's allow them to be, and in many cases, that's not very much.
So, by all means boycott Wal-Mart for their anti-LGBT policies and 378 or 3,780 other reasons, they certainly deserve it. But don't kid yourself that you're supporting some kind of virtuous, progressive alternative by shopping at Target, because you're not. You just bought the hype

No shit, Droogie. I read the article you linked to. I'm amazed.

I mean, I guess some of the things were obvious. The sweatshop produced clothes should have stood out. As the article points out:

“The way the global garment industry is, there are so few factories that respect workers’ rights that there is no way Target gets its clothes from workplaces where workers’ rights are being respected,” said Allie Robbins, national organizer of the group United Students Against Sweatshops.

But the whole forensics lab thing? WTF? They train the FBI?!

Perhaps Target’s oddest singularity is the fact that it boasts one of the nation’s top forensics labs at its company headquarters. A product of its efforts to stop shoplifting and property destruction at its stores, its mastery of surveillance and investigative technology and strategy is now eagerly subscribed to by law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the FBI. The company provides training for police and federal agents on investigation and prevention of everything from arson and robbery to smuggling.

I guess you really can get everything at Target.