Gay Activists Target Anti-Gay Businesses
Posted on August 27, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
“It wasn’t us, it’s not our fault,” says Jeffrey Dunn, now the chief executive of Bolthouse Farms, whose juice bottles are sold at upscale markets such as Whole Foods.
Bolthouse Farms is the latest target in what has become an increasingly bitter political fight in California. As gay-rights activists attempt to defeat the upcoming ballot initiative, called Proposition 8, they are going after not just individuals, but also companies to which they are connected, however tenuously.
“Mr. Bolthouse has said, ‘I’m not connected to Bolthouse Farms at all.’ But we don’t accept that,” says Fred Karger, who runs Californians Against Hate, a new gay-rights group that is leading the charge to identify and publicize corporate connections to significant donors. He notes that Mr. Bolthouse’s son-in-law is chairman of the company and that Bolthouse Farms markets itself as a fourth-generation company.
Next week, Californians Against Hate is planning to push its tactic further by publishing a “Dishonor Roll,” a list of individual and corporate donors who give $5,000 or more to groups campaigning on behalf of Proposition 8. The list will include the donor’s name, employer and the corporate logo of that employer — even if the company itself didn’t donate to the Proposition 8 fight.
Mr. Karger said the tactic isn’t intended to keep individuals or companies from donating, but is meant to educate the public so consumers can make informed choices. He said including corporate logos of businesses whose employees donate is fair game, since that information is publicly available on government Web sites that track donors. “Our larger message is to other business people,” Mr. Karger says. “It’s a free country, you can give as much money to this campaign, but we are going to publicize that and people can make a decision on whether or not they want to support those businesses.”
Some Proposition 8 supporters see the effort as crossing a line. “To tell a business owner that they can’t express their beliefs on an issue is a really stupid thing,” said Terry Caster, the owner of A-1 Storage, a self-storage company based in San Diego.Californians Against Hate says Mr. Caster and his family gave about $300,000 to support Proposition 8, prompting the group to make him the focus of a call-in campaign. Mr. Caster said he received a few phone calls a day that petered out after several weeks, and his business wasn’t affected.
Mr. Dunn said Bolthouse Farms’s bottom line wasn’t affected by the publicity and that his company has made an effort to correct wrong information on blogs that said Mr. Bolthouse still owned a large portion of the company.
Gay Activists Target Businesses
Wall Street Journal – USA
This posting was automatically generated from a feed from Gay News Blog Read more….Gay-rights activists target Hyatt on marriage ban
Gay-rights activists target Hyatt on marriage ban – Sovo.com
Businesses welcome gay festival opportunity – Business Edge
Gay boycott urged of 2 San Diego hotels
PG&E Charges Fight To Protect Maqrriaage with $250,000 in Support