McDonald's surrenders! Boycott declared over
Family group says fast-food giant agrees not to promote 'gay' agenda
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A corporate executive for McDonald's restaurants who had been on the board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has stepped down following a boycott of the chain organized by the pro-family American Family Association.
McDonald's officials confirmed to WND that Richard Ellis, who had been named to the "gay" chamber board after McDonald's contributed $20,000 to the organization, "made a personal decision to step down" after he accepted a new position with McDonald's Restaurants of Canada.
McDonald's officials also told AFA the company has no plans to renew its membership in the special interest group when it expires in December.
"We appreciate the decision by McDonald's to no longer support political activity by homosexual activist organizations," AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon said in a prepared statement.
WND reported in May when McDonald's signed onto the "gay" agenda, and one executive for the fast-food chain later accused Christian advocates of the traditional family of being motivated by "hate."
The AFA called for a boycott and established a website to facilitate the effort. However, AFA officials today said the boycott was being called off after the company notified the AFA Ellis has resigned from the board and "his seat on the board will not be replaced by McDonald's."
"McDonald's stated that the company would remain neutral in the culture war surrounding homosexual marriage," the AFA said.
The pro-family group noted that in an e-mail to McDonald's franchise owners, the company said, "It is our policy to not be involved in political and social issues. McDonald's remains neutral on same sex marriage or any 'homosexual agenda' as defined by the American Family Association."
McDonald's statement, from media relations vice president William Whitman, said the company "stands by and supports our people.
"Diversity and inclusion are integral components of our brand and our heritage. We continue to have strong employee networks throughout our company and will continue to align our brand with individuals and organizations that share our belief in supporting our people and the communities we serve."
The "gay" chamber said, "Like all our corporate relationships, McDonald's USA has been a good partner … there has been no discussion between the NGLCC and McDonald's regarding continuing membership, nor has the NGLCC been notified of any move not to renew our work together."
The organization continued, "The NGLCC will continue to align with corporate America in support of equal opportunity for all of America's worker (sic) and small businesses."
When Ellis joined the NGLCC board he proclaimed: "I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work. I share the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT community and I look forward to playing a role in moving these important initiatives forward."
Ellis had only recently joined McDonald's USA, previously holding the position of vice president of communications and public affairs for McDonald's in Canada, a division to which he now apparently is returning.
The American Family Association is one of the largest pro-family organizations in the nation with between 2 and 3 million online supporters.
As WND previously reported, after Wal-Mart joined the NGLCC, its income started declining as Christian organizations reacted to the news.
CNN reported Wal-Mart officials later decided to pursue a lower level of homosexual promotions.
"We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to GLBT groups," Mona Williams, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications, told CNN only months after the issues arose.
The chamber group describes itself as promoting the LGBT community first and always.
Under a "What we do" page is listed a variety of goals, including "disseminate news and information central to the success of LGBT businesses … ensure increased opportunity and equality for LGBT professionals … help LBGT businesses gain more procurement opportunities …. provide strong lobbying efforts for LBGT business causes."
Other corporate sponsors of the NGLCC include Coors Light and Kodak, who have been leaders in advocating homosexuality, as well as IBM, Wells Fargo, JPMorganChase, Motorola, Intel, Avis, Pepsico, OfficeMax and Coldwell Banker.
It also was revealed Happy Meals profits had been used to send 56 McDonald's staff members to a meeting in San Diego to strategize about promoting homosexuality within the company.
But the AFA had sought only a statement of neutrality in the culture wars from the company, not an abandonment of its workers or communities.
WND also has reported on AFA's documentation of McDonald's sponsorship of a homosexual festival featuring public nudity for both men and women.
The AFA revealed McDonald's sponsored the 2008 San Francisco "Gay" Pride parade with a television commercial. The ad originally was posted on YouTube by a McDonald's employee, the group said. "After AFA exposed it, it was removed by the McDonald's employee," the AFA said.
The original McDonald's position supporting the NGLCC agenda, however, came down to a matter of dollars and cents for officials for a family of mutual funds.
They accused McDonald's officials of "neglecting" their "fiduciary" duty to stockholders by their pursuit of homosexual activism.
"It continues to amaze me that corporations, like McDonald's, continue to publicly and financially support things that alienate their consumer base," said Arthur Ally, the president of the Timothy Plan family of mutual funds.
The company refuses to invest with McDonald's.
"Shareholders as well as customers should be outraged," Ally said, "at the blatant position this company has taken on this issue. McDonald's corporation has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to continue to earn profits and expand their company. By alienating such a large consumer base, the Christian community, they are undoubtedly neglecting this responsibility."
The AFA's boycott site comment forum had attracted thousands of comments such as:
• "America is tired of corporations and organizations twisting the free speech and actions of its citizens into 'hatred' when we simply oppose the corporation's, or organization's, involvement in areas where we don't want our money going. Don't expect any more of my money."
• "McDonald's is a thing of the past for me."
• "We love your fries, but we will not compromise truth. You have taken money that our family, and millions of others, have contributed to the success of the McDonald's Corp. and chosen to use it for an agenda that defies the foundation of our nation, the family, as created by a man and woman."
• "I will take [my] 10 great grand children to Wendy's, Burger King or some other place. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN!"
• "Yes Wendy's, I will have a Frosty with that."
"Consider my family's patronage 'McGone.'"