US retailer Home Depot has said that it will not cave into a boycott by the homophobic American Family Association (AFA) who object to the chain’s pro-equality workplace policies.
The AFA’s vice president Buddy Smith attended the Home Depot annual shareholders meeting to address the company’s chairman.
“We presented to the shareholders and to the chairman and the board of directors over 470,000 signature petitions asking them to remain neutral in the culture war, specifically when it addresses gay marriage and homosexual activist groups,” an AFA spokesman said.
Home Depot’s chairman Frank Blake is reported to have thanked the AFA for their feedback bur reiterated the retailer’s support for gay equality.
The AFA’s grievance with Home Depot began last year after the company took place in a children’s event at the Southern Maine gay pride event and sponsoring the Boston pride parade.
This prompted a boycott by the group which was an initiated by an email which stated that “Home Depot is basically encouraging the attendance of children at events which openly expose them to transvestites, cross-dressers, and homosexual activists.”
“Gay pride events have a long track record for offensive public displays of homosexual conduct. Obviously, Home Depot is OK with the idea of exposing children to an unhealthy and risky environment.”
Home Depot has been criticised in the past for its donations to right-wing political groups.
The AFA are currently also boycotting Ford, Pepsi, Campbell Soup Company, McDonald’s and Hallmark for their approach to LGBT equality.