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08/31/2006

Responding to another editor's letters

by Jeremy Hooper

The following "Letters to the Editor," all regarding the news that Wal-Mart has partnered with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, come from CNSNews.com. The following replies come from sheer frustration:

"I live in northwest Arkansas, Wal-Mart's area of origin and home office. I know a lot of people who work at Wal-Mart, who are openly disgusted with Wal-Mart's 'stand' on a number of things. All I can say is if Sam Walton were alive, even the thought of a homosexual affiliation would have ousted the thinker"

Gene J.
Springdale, AR

Wow, "even the thought of a homosexual affiliation would have ousted the thinker" under Mr. Walton's rule? So thank you so much for proving why, exactly, Wal-Mart was a company that so desperately needed to work on their diversity initiatives.

"I find this action on Wal-Mart's part absolutely disgusting when there are starving children in the world and organizations like 'Feed the Children' who could have certainly found a better use of the $25,000 they are throwing away."

Gary B.
Shelby, NC

Yes, because this is the ONLY contribution the multi-billion dollar company is making this year. They made their one yearly choice and it was the gays who won. Sorry, other worthy recipinents, but 25k is simply all the world's largest retailer can spare, and they decided to just throw it into the trash heap of gay acceptance.

::writer rolls back prices rolls eyes::

"I guess they didn't learn anything by watching the Christian supporters that stood against Ford's backing of gays. I'm really sorry to see this, because I am a frequent shopper of Wal-Mart, but now I will not be shopping there, and I will be quickly spreading the word throughout my Church community and wherever else I can to bring attention to this. The Bible is crystal clear on this."

Theresa R.
Richmond, VA

Correction -- they, just like Ford, are not being deterred by those who oppose their right-minded support for acceptance. And I'm genuinely sure they will be sad to lose you as a customer. But considering that Wal-Mart has been under scrutiny from gays and left-leaners for years, there's a very good chance that progressive policies such as the NGLCC partnership could actually broaden their customer base. This proud Target shopper is certainly giving the retailer a second look! Maybe they even have the version of the Bible where it's "crystal clear" that homosexuality is opposed, as every version this kid's ever seen gives a far less than definitive answer on this and a number of subjects.

"We will not be patronizing Wal-Mart any longer. One can respect everyone's rights as American citizens without sanctioning behavior that is offensive to traditional families by creating alliances with them. We personally don't make business alliances with tobacco companies, but we don't hate smokers either. Show some guts, Wal-Mart, if you want mainstream American families' business."

Claudia B.
Graham, WA

Again, contrary to what seems to be prevailing belief among many "pro-family" consumers, you guys actually don't control American values. Many, many citizens applaud Wal-Mart's NGLCC partnership and many will now START shopping there. Many others may not applaud the decision or even think it's for the best, but they would never stop patronizing a company because they acted in a way with which they didn't agree. And then there are some -- including many gays -- who will not shop there because they oppose this or one of Wal-Mart's other initiatives. Each of these groups are made up of American consumers, a far more diverse lot than "pro-family" folks are acknowledging.

These "pro-family" threats launched every time a company so much as farts in a gay-friendly manner are really starting to get annoying. Corporate America has a responsibility to the consumer, and gays are consumers. Your convictions against gays are typically steeped in religion. While acceptable to enforce those convictions in houses of worship, you cannot expect companies to answer to them in the realm of American business. Even if you think gays are moral-less and hellbound, I think we can all agree that it's highly unlikely that they're going to wholly disappear from the American landscape anytime soon. Wal-Mart is reaching out to this community of shoppers in a new, refreshing way. They are seemingly working towards a world where gays are just a little more accepted, and that is something for which nobody should make an apology. But no one is out to thwart your ability to find gays unsavory. We get that some of you don't think us the most stellar examples of humans, and Wal-Mart isn't going to stop you from believing this! Hell, you can even buy the poster board for your anti-gay marriage rallies there if you want! But on that same token, we should be free to know that when we buy our own materials to make our own "No, we're not destroying society" counter protest signs, that the company to whom we're giving our dollar is not frowning at our "lifestyle."

The main problem lies in the false conceit that we have an "agenda" and that any company who encourages acceptance of the LGBT community is funding it. Our only agenda is to stop having to f***ing fight ridiculous battles like this one! Then, like the heterosexual "pro-family" Americans, we could go fight for matters that our religious and political convictions told us to fight, but not have to fight for the cores of our beings! That's the difference -- "pro-fams" already have this freedom! They are the very reason why we gays of all different backgrounds and faiths are having to unite as one and demand acceptance, because they are using their faith to persecute us as a people. But companies who help us fight the fight for freedom are not typically taking religious stands, but rather rational approaches to a social situation. The "pro-fams" just can't/won't see it this way, as any stand for gay equality is, to them, in opposition with their faith. However, that is not a valid challenge to the fight us gays are fighting, as we as a whole are not asking for their faith's acceptance! That is a very different fight that all of the world's many religions must and do discuss amongst themselves! It would be like saying women had an agenda by seeking the right to vote, and that you're going to oppose it because your faith puts women in a submissive position. Oh wait a minute.

So in conclusion...ah, screw it, my fingers hurt. Class dismissed.

Letters to the Editor -- Readers Oppose Wal-Mart's 'Gay' Partnership [CNSNews.com]

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