The American Family Association has launched an attack on Walmart for releasing an ad featuring a gay couple.
For Valentine’s Day, the US retail giant had released dating series Love is in the aisle, featuring couples going on a blind date to the supermarket.
However, the brand has come under fire over a February 14 episode, because it featured same-sex couple, Pat and Andy.
The largely-unremarkable clip featured the pair shopping for a frying pan and shampoo together, but apparently it was enough to upset the American Family Association.
American Family Association: Walmart founder “probably turning over in his grave”
The evangelical anti-LGBT lobbying group has launched a campaign against Walmart over the ad, accusing the company of promoting a “pro-homosexual” agenda.
The AFA’s president Tim Wildmon wrote: “In a move that most Christians probably never expected to see, retail giant Walmart has posted an online video that normalizes homosexual relationships.
“For most Christians and other traditionalists, the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman is sacred. We’ve seen many large corporations reject that in their marketing, but I honestly never thought Walmart would join the cultural revolution and reject the beliefs of its customer base.”
Wildmon claimed that late Walmart founder Sam Walton, a devout Christian, “is probably turning over in his grave” due to the ad.
The group encouraged supporters to “contact Walmart Headquarters and let them know you are extremely disappointed in them,” with a pre-written letter of complaint calling on the company to “[remove] the pro-homosexual video and remain neutral on the controversial issue of homosexuality.”
Walmart: “We would like to show our customers that everyone is welcome”
The clip has largely received a positive reaction on Facebook.
One fan wrote. “Kudos to Walmart for putting this out there. My husband and I have shopped the Mart for about 30 years.”
Another added: “Thank you Walmart! Families, couples and individuals are all so different and that’s what makes them all beautiful!!💜”
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In a Facebook comment, Walmart responded: “That’s what it’s all about! Diversity is everywhere, and we would like to show our customers that EVERYONE is welcome! ❤😁🌈”
However, there was also plenty of abuse.
One Walmart shopper responded: “You have got to be kidding. No more Walmart for me and my family. Very disappointing.”
Another added: “Wal Mart [sic], I will NEVER shop at any OF YOUR stores ever again!!!!”
Alluding to an anti-LGBT boycott of rival firm Target that was also led by the American Family Association, one Facebook user threatened: “Walmart, you may want to reconsider pushing the envelope on morals.
“Target has tried it with gender neutral restrooms and that hasn’t worked out well.”
Despite the group’s ties to Republican lawmakers, the American Family Association has promoted extreme views about LGBT+ people.
The activist has previously called for homosexuality to be re-criminalised, insists that “Hitler himself was an active homosexual” and gays were “at the heart” of the Nazi party.