The American Family Association has called on consumers to boycott McDonald’s after the company said it will continue to support gay staff.
McDonald’s Vice President of Communications Richard Ellis recently joined the board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
The anti-gay AFA claims that the multi-national restaurant chain is “refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars.”
“McDonald’s has chosen … to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage,” the group said.
The AFA cite the company’s support for last year’s Pride parade in San Francisco, but the call for a boycott appears to have been sparked by a letter from McDonald’s which bluntly states their stance on the issue.
“Our founder Ray Kroc once said, ‘None of us is as good as all of us.’” wrote Mc Donald’s Global Chief Diversity Officer, Pat Harris.
“This is a core value of McDonald’s.
“We treat our employees and our customers with respect and dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other factors.
“We support out employees’ personal involvement in organisations of their choice.
“We will continue to support our people and their right to live and work in an inclusive society.”
The company has more than 31,000 restaurants and is the world’s largest fast food chain.
The AFA said on their boycott website that their protest is “not about hiring homosexuals, not about homosexuals eating at McDonald’s and not about how homosexual employees are treated.”
Earlier this week it was revealed that the AFA organised a campaign against an advert that was only shown in the UK.
The ad featured a kiss between two men.
Heinz’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh was deluged with complaints from some of the estimated 3.5 million fundamentalist Christians in the AFA.
The group targeted IKEA last year for showing gay families in their ads, and has led boycotts of Ford and Disney because of their commitment to equality.
The AFA describes itself as: “a Christian organisation promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on TV and other media.”
Its chief aims are the recognition of Christmas in seasonal print advertisements and the criminalisation of homosexuality and lobbying in favour of “traditional marriage.”
They have frequently opposed equal-rights and hate-crime legislation that would benefit homosexuals and advocated censorship of print and electronic media.
Last year in a dramatic u-turn Wal-Mart, the largest grocer in the US and the second largest in the world, stepped back from the active support it was previously giving to gay-rights groups.
The AFA threatened to boycott Wal-Mart’s next big sales period and condemned the blanket support it offered to gay-friendly business initiatives.
The company succumbed to the AFA’s latest threat to urge shoppers to boycott their post-Thanksgiving sale.