Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Walmart Partners With Gay-Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The Morning News ^ | August 22, 2006 | Anita French

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is joining with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to help advance diversity within the Bentonville-based retailer’s operations, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Dee Breazeale, a Wal-Mart vice president, will serve on the chamber’s corporate advisory council, which works to educate corporate America on the benefits of workplace diversity.

“We are honored to have Wal-Mart's support of the NGLCC. Our partnership will not only provide more opportunities for the NGLCC, but the business community as a whole,” Justin Nelson, chamber co-founder and president, said in a news release. “We are pleased with this addition to our organization and to our council.”

Wal-Mart has also agreed to sponsor some of the chamber’s programs, including two of its conferences.

Wal-Mart didn’t issue a news release about its partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, leaving it to the chamber to publish the news at its Web site Monday.

Wal-Mart spokesman Bob McAdam in a telephone interview with The Morning News downplayed any controversy over the issue.

“We participate in all kinds of organizations, hundreds of them, (and) this is just one. It’s not really any different than any outreach we do that represents a segment of our customers,” he said.

Reaction from one quarter was critical, however. American Family Association spokesman Randy Sharp said his organization wasn’t surprised by the news because it was the latest in a “long list” of Wal-Mart actions to “recognize and endorse a personal sexual behavior.”

“It’s disappointing. I personally chose two months ago to stop shopping at Wal-Mart ... and I think others will follow suit,” Sharp said. “Up until a year and a half ago, the AFA applauded Wal-Mart for their pro-family policies, but now it seems Wal-Mart has decided to push aside that legacy left by (founder) Sam Walton and joined those who look at the bottom line and stock prices.”

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below for article)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

McAdam retorted that Walton’s legacy was “taking care of customers and taking care of their needs, and in the process we’ll run a profitable business.”

The American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., and headed by Donald Wildmon, criticized Wal-Mart last year when the company held a seminar on how to market to gay America and also just recently when the retailer prominently advertised that it carried the “Brokeback Mountain” DVD in its stores.

Wal-Mart added gays and lesbians to its anti-discrimination policy in 2003. Spokeswoman Linda Blakley said in December that the company’s marketing seminar grew out of an Associate Resource Groups program Wal-Mart launched in April 2005.

The Associates Resource Group features “affinity or network groups” and includes ones for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. An American Family Association Journal article at the time criticized the program, saying Wal-Mart had “caved in” to gay activists.

Other companies with representatives on the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber Corporate Advisory Council include IBM, Wells Fargo and Kodak, according to the chamber.

3:16 PM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got an e-mail about this from the Family Research Council in D.C. It's a shame that Wal-Mart has succumbed to pressure from pro-gay, anti-family groups.

8:37 PM, August 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, god forbid they have rights too. Lynch em' all, right? That's the message i get from the right. You all disgust me!

5:02 PM, August 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you liberals disgust us, too. So I guess we're even. Idiot. Just because they have rights doesn't mean we have to support them. That's why it's called AMERICA.

8:14 PM, August 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've scaled way back in my visits to WM. Less than once month nowadays.

8:25 PM, August 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, what a shock that Wal-Mart has posted their first loss in over a decade. It's the curse of the queers.

Why do businesses have to get their hands dirty like this? Why can't they just sell their products and stay the heck out of the culture war? That goes for Ford Motor Co. & Progressive Auto Insurance, too.

8:29 PM, August 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"god forbid they have rights too"

What God forbids is what they demand. And all our rights come from Him.

9:07 PM, August 27, 2006  

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