An anti-gay group has called off a boycott of worldwide retailer Wal-Mart after the store vowed to remain neutral on “highly controversial issues.”

Homophobes inside the American Family Association are hailing a victory against the store claiming it reacted to their protest against it joining the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and stocking products appearing to promote same-sex marriage.

Wal-Mart insists their statement is in reaction to staff and customer requests, a statement said: “Wal-Mart will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers.

“Wal-Mart does not have a position on same sex marriage and we do not give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers. Wal-Mart does have a strong commitment to diversity among our associates and against discrimination everywhere.”

The statement appears to have appeased the AFA which announced on its website, “The AFA has decided to cancel its efforts of encouraging people to not shop at Wal-Mart.

“We believe that Wal-Mart will remain neutral in cultural battles.”

The AFA opposed the promotion of books and other items relating to homosexuality, similar to a campaign earlier this year when the organisation tried to stop gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain being sold on DVD.

The boycott was scheduled to go ahead during Thanksgiving in the US, one of the busiest shopping periods for the country.