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08/10/2006

For ill drive: TX Ford dealers encourage Ford to capitulate

by Jeremy Hooper

The American Family Association has released a letter written by Doss Rogers of the Greater Texas Ford Dealers Advertising Fund, in which Mr. Rogers and fellow dealers encourage Ford Motor Company CEO Bill Ford to appease the AFA and stop advertising in gay publications. Ugh, here we go again...

In the dispatch, Mr. Rogers says supporters of the AFA's on-going Ford boycott "are disappointed and demoralized at seeing this type of advertising by Ford Motor Company, which seemingly supports the gay lifestyle." He then goes on to advise the company that "[a]s a mass marketer it is vital that Ford Motor Company not alienate the masses in order to placate a minority," adding that "when the Blue Oval is places next to offensive photos of the gay lifestyle...consumers then believe that Ford endorses that lifestyle."

And, of course, by his repeated use of the word "lifestyle," Mr. Rogers has, perhaps unwittingly, given insight into where he and his fellows stand as well. He even quotes one of his fellow dealers as saying at a recent meeting, "the folks supporting this boycott are not on the fringe, they are not religious fanatics or persons that typically protest, but are average citizens concerned for the well-being of their families and about an all-American company like Ford advocating a lifestyle that they find objectionable." Now, this of course totally overlooks the fact that the American Family Association -- what with their accusing Walgreens of supporting the Gay Games to increase sales of HIV drugs, attacking of Wal-Mart for simply carrying the Brokeback Mountain DVD, longtime boycott of Disney for its gay-friendly policies, and general opposition to anyone who so much as watches a gay-friendly movie without rebuking it in the name of Jesus -- are the very definition of "fringe religious fanatics that typically protest." So while those supporting the AFA and their boycott may very well think they are simply protecting the well-being of their families, in reality they are FRIGHTENINGLY threatening the well-being of every gay person everywhere! These folks are trying to bully Ford into pulling all support for the homosexual community; a capitulation on the part of Ford would be giving in to the politically-motivated, demonization-encouragibng tyranny of a well-financed fringe group.

Rogers later mentions in his letter that "...Ford can and should market to all Americans with transportation needs, but that it should do so without tacitly approving a controversial lifestyle or stance." To which we say, "Exactly, Mr. Rogers -- which is why Ford cannot back down to those who tacitly approve the controversial lifestyle of discrimination, and the stance that some folks are created unequal and deserve to be shunned."

Letter to Ford from th eGreater Texas Ford Dealers Advertising Fund [AFA]

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