Monday, June 26, 2006

Boycotts and Bogus Email Campaigns—a new kind of hate crime?

(Regardless of how busy you may be, some things just need to be dealt with.)

Two emails in one day--from two different people--all about the same organization's tactics to push its anti-homosexuality agenda onto two different groups, the National Education Association (NEA) and Ford company owners and prospective customers. How weird is that?

The first email from Virginia Education Association President Princess Moss says that the American Family Association (AFA) believes that the NEA is about to endorse homosexual marriage. Part of the AFA email says:

...The National Education Association is set to endorse homosexual marriage at their convention coming up in Orlando June 29 through July 6.

The new NEA proposal essentially says schools should support and actively promote homosexual marriage and other forms of marriage (two men and one woman, three women, two women and three men, etc.) in their local schools. The new proposal, expected to pass overwhelmingly, is found under the B-8 Diversity paragraph:

The Association... believes in the importance of observances, programs and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals. The Association believes that legal rights and responsibilities with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, legal immigration, domestic partnerships, and civil unions and/or marriage belong to all these diverse groups and individuals.

Translated, that means the NEA will promote homosexual marriage in every avenue they have available, including textbooks, to all children at all age levels and without the permission or knowledge of parents. Their plans will include every public school in America....”

According to Princess:

First of all, know that the NEA and the VEA have no position on same-sex marriages, and we are not seeking to establish a position. … Furthermore, NEA does not direct public schools or school districts on what is contained in their curriculum or in how they should proceed in any activity.

Meeting earlier this year, the NEA Resolutions Committee adopted a proposed change to Resolution B-8 that calls for the protection of legal rights and responsibilities of all diverse groups and individuals, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or other considerations. The Resolutions Committee's proposed language reads as follows:

The Association believes that legal rights and responsibilities with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, legal immigration, domestic partnerships, and civil unions and/or marriage belong to all of these diverse groups and individuals.

As a result of questions asked by some leaders, a change was recommended to the Resolutions Committee Chair. The recommended language below will be considered at the June 29 Resolutions Committee meeting. If adopted, this language is proposed for movement to Resolution B-10-Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identification Discrimination and would clarify the meaning of the original proposed amendment, reaffirming the Association's long-standing opposition to discrimination in any form.

The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally-recognized* domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration.

* As of June 2006 in the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes same-sex marriage, while California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Vermont grant persons in same-sex unions a similar legal status to those in a civil marriage by domestic partnership, civil union or reciprocal beneficiary laws.

The second email came from my dad, who has somehow gotten on the mailing list for this same organization. His email (a forward from AFA) says that:

The boycott of Ford Motor Company is working! Sales of automobiles made by Ford dropped 2% in May. This follows drops of 5% in March and 7% in April. When AFA began the boycott of Ford on March 13th, their stock was selling for $7.86 a share. As of Tuesday the stock had fallen to $6.68, a drop of $1.18 or 13%.

The success of the boycott prompted Chairman Bill Ford to have an email sent to all Ford dealers pleading with the dealers to "ask customers to support Ford." The email said customers "should stand by our company because of our innovative products, because for generations we've been a positive force in American society, and because our successful Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers have made their communities stronger."

It is clear that Chairman Bill Ford is willing to take Ford into bankruptcy to appease a small group of homosexual leaders. … Did you know that Ford Motor Company forces their employees to undergo "Diversity Training"? At Ford, "Diversity Training" means forced attendance at company sponsored meetings which are used to promote the homosexual lifestyle. Attendance is required. Employees cannot opt out. In their "Diversity Training" homosexual leaders present the homosexual lifestyle and teach employees to accept that lifestyle.

No other view of homosexuality is allowed to be presented. No one is allowed to speak against the homosexual lifestyle or present the serious health problems associated with it. At Ford, "diversity" means there is only one view of homosexuality--that presented by the homosexuals--and that is the only view Ford will allow.

I went to the AFA website and found this:

When Ford responds to those who write concerning their promotion of homosexual marriage, the response they get from Ford's Customer Relationship Center says their support "is a strong commitment we intend to carry forward with no exception." For Ford, that support also includes homosexual polygamy.

To show those supporting traditional marriage they mean business, Ford sponsored the June 6 issue of the homosexual publication The Advocate. The cover (article) … promotes homosexual polygamy.

Ford sponsored the publication with a full page back cover advertising Ford Motor company product Volvo and a full page ad for all Ford brands with the line: Ford Motor Company. Standing strong with America's families and communities.

Ford's support for the magazine's promotion of homosexual polygamy leaves no doubt that Ford means to continue pushing the homosexual agenda, even including homosexual polygamy.

Ford’s policy (from their website):

Valuing Diversity
Diversity embodies all the differences that make us unique individuals. Not limited to physical aspects of race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, it includes culture, religion, education, experience, opinions, beliefs, language, nationality and more.

At Ford Motor Company we recognize that diversity is not only a reality of our global nature, it’s a distinct advantage, and one that we value and embrace. We also know that we can only leverage the benefits of diversity by understanding and respecting the differences among all employees.

Just as our customer base is infinitely diverse, so is our workforce.

Reflected in our products, diversity is a competitive advantage in a global economy. It broadens our range of talents and stimulates our creativity, adding to the appeal of our products especially in new and emerging markets. Our understanding of diversity helps us serve our customers better.

Diversity Proves Its Value
We find that well-managed, diverse work teams can outperform homogeneous teams in quantity, creativity and quality; that complex problems can best be solved by cross-functional teams typical of matrix organizations; and that people who work, live and learn in integrated settings develop stronger interpersonal communications and negotiating skills.

Diversity enhances confidence and improves the contributions made by people in such environments. Valuing and respecting each individual simply makes good sense. Success and productivity are natural extensions of a corporate culture that truly values all people, putting diversity among our top corporate priorities.

Equal Opportunity
Ford Motor Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. Here is a brief statement of our commitment:

Opportunities for employment and advancement will be available on a non-discriminatory basis--without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or veteran status. We take affirmative action in accordance with law to have minorities and women represented appropriately throughout the workforce and to provide qualified handicapped persons, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era opportunity for employment and advancement.

Ford has set up several resource groups to “provide support and fellowship, identify barriers, contribute to employees' professional development, and provide organized activities for employees of diverse backgrounds.” One does focus on gay, lesbian or bisexual employees, but there are others for women, Hispanics and other cultural and ethnic groups, families, individuals with disabilities, and even one for people of faith.

Founded in 2000, the Ford Interfaith Network (FIN) aims to assist the company in becoming a worldwide corporate leader in promoting religious tolerance, corporate integrity, and human dignity. We strive to act in accordance with our beliefs and out of love for human beings and all of creation, promoting understanding and respect for the various faiths.

I support an individual’s rights to his/her own privacy—including from government monitoring of phones, internet usage and even library checkout habits. Of course, I personally wonder about the AFA for two reasons.

  • Despite the Bible's teachings on not judging harshly, unfairly or in selfish ways, I'm starting to think that "religious tolerance" is an oxymoron.
  • And the second reason? It’s based in Mississippi—the same state where citizens fought against civil rights by killing activists and promoting segregation. Racism still exists in the South, as I know from my own area of the world.

I saw on Waldo’s sideblog that homosexuality has been documented in over 450 vertebrate species. If it’s that common among God’s creatures, it just can’t be a human “problem.” I think the AFA needs a little diversity education or at least a little religious tolerance.


At 8:33 PM, Anonymous David said...

Lisa, great post and great research.

You can see how desperate the anti-gay right is becoming with this sort of nonsense inserted everywhere about "homosexual polygamy." The tide of public opinion is turning, even among religious conservatives, so the lunatic fringe has to resort to making stuff up. When did advertising in a magazine start meaning that a company endorsed every point of view expressed in an article? That raises an interesting question. There was recent media attention to an actual polygamy rights movement (calling it true "biblical marriage") due to the show "Big Love." It would be interesting to see who advertised in the publications, Newsweek among them, that covered this story, and whether they had a harassment campaign launched against them. My guess is they did not.

You kind of have to pity the AFA. We need to just keep patiently and calmly steering them back to reality, as Ford and the NEA do.

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Greg Bouchillon said...

Lisa, this is awesome, but like always, David said what I was thinking much better than I could

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks for the comments. Even though I have been very busy with things here around the house (including making peach preserves today), I just had to write this up.

I get riled up at times when people go out on a limb to make this kind of assinine assumption. If that were the case, no one would be advertising anywhere.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Vivian J. Paige said...

Good post, Lisa!


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