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12/06/2005

UPDATE: Is Ford selling us out?

by Jeremy Hooper

   Talking with the AP, Ford Spokesman Mike Moran is sticking with his story that the company's decision to pull Jaguar/Land Rover ads in gay publications is due to business, not pressure from the American Family Association. He says of the two Premier Automotive Group lines, "They feel pressure on their marketing budgets, so they decided to streamline marketing across the board,"..."They're not supporting as many publications and events as before in 2006." He also says that Ford has "no confidential agreement with the AFA," and that the company's nondiscrimination policies will not change.

Moran's statements come a day after a consortium of gay rights groups released a statement saying, "We are deeply dismayed by reports in the media and otherwise that the Ford Motor Company has entered into a confidential agreement with the extremist American Family Association (AFA) that requires Ford to stop advertising in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media. If there is an agreement with AFA, we expect Ford to disavow it. We expect Ford to publicly reaffirm its historic support for our community. And, we expect Ford to meet with LGBT representatives this week to resolve these concerns.

Then there is Americablog's John Aravosis, who says he has talked to a journalist and a top gay rights advocate, both of whom claim that Ford has indeed reached some sort of a gay-shunning "formal settlement" with the AFA.

So do we now think Ford to be spineless civil rights capitulators, or do we give them the benefit of the doubt until more is revealed? That my friends is up to you. As for us, the dynamite is loaded in our Mustang's trunk, but for now we're refraining from setting it ablaze. Will it be sent to a fiery grave, or will it be spared an untimely demise? Stay tuned, my equality-loving pets.

UPDATE, 5PM: Ford has issued a statement.

*******UPDATE, 12/7: In which we blow up our Mustang [G-A-Y]

Ford says ends ads in gay publications [AP via SunHerald.com]
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups call for urgent meeting with Ford Motor Company [The Taskforce]

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