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11/21/2007

HRC up against a 'Wal'

by Jeremy Hooper

WlacrapWhat a difference a year makes. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving 2006, our socially conservative opposition was encouraging folks to boycott Wal-Mart because they considered some of the company's policies too pro-gay for their liking, But now, the day before Turkey Day '07, the Human Rights Campaign has admonished the Arkansas-based retailer for what it considers to be a gay rights capitulation brought about by the other side's boycott threats. Saying Wal-Mart is "moving in reverse on equal treatment of their employees and their gay and lesbian consumers," the nation's largest gay rights organization has given the retail giant a low score of 40 in this years "Buying For Equality" guide:

HRC releases new 2008 “Buying for Equality” Guide just in time for Holiday shopping [HRC Backstory]

On the flip, however, Walmart's always more gay-seeming rival, Target, has scored a high 80 on HRC's little list. So take this into consideration before you venture off into your crass commercialism endeavors, gays and supporters. If you're lucky, you might even run into this lady at the Wal aternative:

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Your thoughts

Dear HRC Director Joe Solmonese,

I have no problem with your encouraging a boycott of Wal-Mart [save for a bit of class arrogance in assuming that all gays can afford to shop wherever they want]. But can you please tell us how you continue to give Coors a 100% rating despite the fact that some Coors family members who retain significant stock in the company, despite mergers with other brewers, continue to use some of its profits to fund the Heritage Foundation and the Castle Rock Foundation [on whose boards they sit] among other leaders in the rabid Antigay Industry?

The larger report on which the guide is based claimed that, before the ratings were arrived at, "a team of
researchers investigates and cross-checks ... any connections with organizations that engage in anti-GLBT activities," that one of the criteria was whether a company "[engaged] in action that would undermine GLBT equality," and that "employers found engaging in activities that would undermine GLBT equality will have 15 points removed from their scores." Stockholders of a company are included in my definition of "employers," the history of the Coors family's strong ties to the Antigay Industry is well-known including money used to start the extreme Right Wing Heritage Foundation, and their continued participation is as easy to uncover as a Google search so how the hell did Coors end up with any rating higher than 85? Did HRC Business Council member Scott COORS excuse himself from helping to determine Coors' rating?

Until I see a satisfactory explanation, I will continue to urge people to boycott both Coors and HRC.

Thank you.

Leland Frances

Posted by: Leland Frances | Nov 21, 2007 1:19:22 PM

You know, even if Target is rated highly, it's still a major benefactor to the republican party, so think about that when you shop as well.

Posted by: Andy | Nov 25, 2007 6:55:39 PM

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