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03/11/2008

AFA claims Ford victory; we claim another AFA failure

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 3-107There is a familiar pattern with the American Family Association.  First, they boldly announce that they're boycotting a particular company because they see far too much pro-gayness within their corporate operations.  Then the "pro-family" group tries to milk the boycott for all its worth, taking credit for every single misstep that the spurned company may experience in the period following the AFA's withdrawal of consumer support.  But then, after a certain span of indeterminate time, the AFA will just one day out of the blue announce that they're ending the boycott, citing vague ideas about how the "offending" company has somewhat dropped their gayness due to the anti-gay action.

We saw this pattern happen with Disney a few years ago.  Now we're seeing it happen again with Ford, with the AFA announcing today their gay-centric boycott of the automaker is no longer.  Press release is after the jump:

Ford meets conditions; AFA suspends boycott

I have some good news for you! AFA is suspending its two year boycott of Ford Motor Company. The conditions of the original agreement presented in fall 2005 have been met. We reached the conclusion that Ford had met the conditions of the agreement based on monitoring for several months. Individuals are free to purchase Ford vehicles again.

Your support of the boycott played a key role in convincing Ford to cease its significant support of the homosexual agenda. During the 24 months the boycott was in effect, Ford sales dropped an average of 8% per month. The boycott was not entirely responsible for the drop in sales, but it played a very significant role.

A total of 780,365 individuals signed AFA's Boycott Ford petition.

The original agreement contained four items:

1. Ford would not renew current promotions or create future incentives that give cash donations to homosexual organizations based on the purchase of a vehicle.
2. Ford would not make corporate donations to homosexual organizations that, as part of their activities, engage in political or social campaigns to promote civil unions or same-sex marriage.
3. Ford would stop giving cash and vehicle donations or endorsements to homosexual social activities such as Gay Pride parades.
4. Ford would cease all advertising on homosexual Web sites and through homosexual media outlets (magazines, television, radio) in the U.S. with the exception of $100,000 to be used by Volvo. The Volvo ads would be the same ads used in the general media and not aimed at the homosexual community specifically.

A few minor issues remain, and we will continue to bring these to the attention of Ford. But basically Ford has met the terms of the agreement. We are therefore suspending the boycott.

But has Ford really come around to the AFA in any markable way?  We all know that the automaker has struggled over the past few years because of issues wholly unrelated to the AFA or their litl' biased action, but has this boycott led them to implement policy changes?  Or is it just that the AFA is desperate to make themselves look politically influential, so they are trying to position the termination of this action as a "success" rather than a limp conclusion?

Well, we certainly think it's the latter.  After all, it was just last month that the AFA was citing Ford as one of the "Top Ten Pro-Homosexual Sponsors on Television," while still claiming in Ford press releases that Ford was ignoring their demands.  And after the uproar the automaker faced when they capitulated to the AFA and withdrew gay support back in 2005, we can't imagine they would ever dare to put themselves in that position again.  PLus, as we've already mentioned, this is exactly the way AFA boycotts typically come to an end, with no specifics given regarding the "success."

So we'll get in contact with Ford and dig further on this.  But we have a strong hunch that this is less of a sign that gays should push their Ford automobiles off a cliff, and more of a sign that the AFA does nothing more than waste everyone's time when they engage in these unrighteous political actions!

Ford meets conditions; AFA suspends boycott [AFA]

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Your thoughts

Just finished reading the article over at WingNutDaily and thought something sounded a little suspicious. AFA claims over 760,000 people signed the petition and caused Ford's sales to drop. Highly unlikely the 760,000 people (if that number is even close to true) all decided to buy Chevys instead of Fords. It is also highly unlikely that Ford contacted AFA and said "Okay! We had enough! We'll give you everything you want. Just please, PLEASE stop boycotting us!! We know that gay and lesbian consumers are perhaps the most loyal consumers out there - but the company has found the Big JC and is no longer supporting them."

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 11, 2008 11:19:32 AM

If Ford did cave and make an agreement with AFA, it would not be the first time. They did just that a few years ago. John Aravosis' America Blog (http://www.americablog.com/) was a major part of a campaign to pressure Ford into reversing that agreement, which they did. And that's when AFA started the boycott. A search on America Blog with the terms "Ford" and "AFA" will provide lots of information

Ford has some skeletons in their historic closet that they probably don't want dredged up: Henry Ford was an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer. So a return to a policy of bigotry would probably not be a wise business decision for Ford unless they think AFA supporters are now a major market.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Mar 11, 2008 12:06:12 PM

Richard: yes, we worked with John very closely on all that. And you can find all of the same info in our Ford archives (linked in the above post).

But it would be really bizarre for them to have gone back in AFA's corner after the controversy that 2005 situation caused. And if there truly were some "victories" for the AFA, they would surely highlight them rather than just claim a vague win.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 11, 2008 12:11:49 PM

Jeremy, now I see. I just followed your link. I wasn't tuned in to your blog back in those days. Now I visit G-A-Y a couple of times every day.

I too think it would be really bizarre for Ford to get back in bed with AFA. I suspect AFA has been getting a lot of pressure from the dealers and their employees.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Mar 11, 2008 12:42:33 PM

No worries, Richard. I hope I didn't come across as defensive.

FYI: Check out this update. Joe from JoeMyGod got a statement from Ford (see update at bottom):

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/03/afa-ford-someon.htm

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 11, 2008 12:46:59 PM

ow I will buy that new car this year and it will be a ford was hlding off untill this was over
Dave in vt

Posted by: Dove | Mar 18, 2008 11:40:10 PM

If FORD does not support gay marriage, and the gay agenda, I will once again consider buying a FORD.

Posted by: jake | Apr 1, 2009 10:09:20 PM

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