NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A one-year boycott of the Ford Motor Company by pro-family groups is nearing an end but could be extended because the company has done little, if anything, to address concerns over its support of homosexual activism, a spokesman for the American Family Association says.
AFA and more than 30 other conservative groups launched the boycott March 13, urging Christians not to buy cars from Ford or its seven other brands: Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Mazda. The groups pointed to Ford’s financial support of organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, its sponsorship of “gay pride” events and its advertising in homosexual magazines and television programs.
But nearly one year later, little seems to have changed at the company, despite a significant drop in sales — which the boycotting organizations take at least a partial credit for. Last year Ford lost $12.7 billion, the largest single-year loss in its 103-year history.
“At this time we continue to monitor Ford’s activities,” Randy Sharp, AFA’s direct of special projects, told Baptist Press. “Most recently, Ford has continued advertising in homosexual magazines such as Out and the Advocate…. However, as we monitor we may extend that boycott to a continuance of a longer period of time.”
There is little debate the boycott has had an impact. Last June more than 75 Texas Ford dealers signed on to a letter urging then-Ford CEO Bill Ford to “cease” advertising in homosexual “media and events.” The dealers told Ford the boycott was “affecting our business.”
Although the dealers argued that other automobile companies were just as guilty, Sharp disagrees.
“We have researched the automakers, and Ford is head and shoulders above the others in their financial support and contributions,” Sharp said. “While it is true that others do [support homosexual causes], they don’t do it to the extent that the Ford Motor Company does. We looked at all the automakers and other companies, and it was quite clear to us that Ford was the top offender of family values.”
Among Ford’s offenses:
— In 2005, Ford gave the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) up to $1,000 for every Jaguar sold. In 2003, Ford gave the Human Rights Campaign — the nation’s largest homosexual activist organization — up to $500 for each Volvo sold. (Customers were required to initiate the donation by filling out a coupon in each instance.)
— The company received a perfect “gay friendly” score of 100 in 2006 from the Human Rights Campaign. To achieve a perfect score, a company had to, among other things, offer domestic partner benefits to partners of same-sex employees, provide at least one “transgender wellness benefit” (such as paying for a “sex-change” operation or offering short-term leave for it), provide “sexual orientation diversity training” for its employees, and give financially to the homosexual community.
— Ford’s Volvo line is a national corporate sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign. In 2006 Ford was the lead sponsor at the Detroit Motor City “Gay Pride” festival, which included a commitment ceremony for same-sex couples. It also sponsored the 2006 GLAAD Media Awards, which recognized movies, television programs and other types of media for their portrayal of homosexuals.
— It is a regular advertiser in homosexual magazines, such as Advocate. Last year one Ford advertisement ran opposite an Advocate cover story article about “gay polygamy.” Some of the advertisements in various magazines have been sexually suggestive.
“[W]e were astounded by the absolute number of cash donations, car donations and employee resource groups [Ford] dedicated to the promotion of the homosexual agenda,” Sharp said.
Even if Ford has yet to respond in a significant way to the boycott, many Americans have. Since the boycott began, AFA’s e-mail distribution list has grown from 2 million to nearly 3.5 million. In addition, more than 600,000 people have signed an online pledge supporting the boycott.
“That does not include tens or hundreds of thousands that have signed the paper petition or simply who have chosen to boycott Ford and not signed a petition,” Sharp said, referring to a petition that can be printed out and given to friends and family members. “We truly believe that more people are boycotting Ford that have not signed the petition than those who have…. We continue to see the number of people grow who are becoming newly aware of Ford’s support for homosexuality.”
It was a tough year in 2006 for American car manufacturers, including Ford, which saw the number of vehicles it sold in the U.S. drop 7.9 percent from 2005.
“There has to be a cause and effect correlation between sales, and we believe the boycott is having an impact,” Sharp said. “… The homosexual community doesn’t have enough backing to keep Ford’s head above water. So, when Ford alienates their largest consumer base, the numbers speak louder than words.”