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Wal-Mart Ignores 'Brokeback Mountain' Pressure

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Wal-Mart Ignores 'Brokeback Mountain' Pressure

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

April 6, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) Despite pressure from a national anti-gay lobby group Wal-Mart stores appear to be doing a brisk business in selling "Brokeback Mountain" DVDs and videos.

Copies of the Academy Award winning gay cowboy film went on sale this week at Wal-Mart stores across the country even though the American Family Association and its members have been flooding the nation's largest retailer with complaints that the company was caving in to "the homosexual agenda".

Two weeks ago the AFA, already involved in a national boycott of Ford Motors for advertising in the LGBT media, turning its sights on Wal-Mart stopping just short of ordering a boycott.

"It's quite obvious to anyone who shops at Wal-Mart that they're no longer the family-friendly company that they used to project in their image," said Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects.

Wal-Mart spokesperson Gail Lavielle said the company won't advocate for any issue, insisting the chain's only goal is providing products that its customers want.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment says that on the first day the DVDs and videos went on sale a whopping 1.4 million copies were sold in all retail stores across the country. Neither Wal-Mart nor Universal would say how much of that came from Wal-Mart stores.

This isn't the first time that AFA demands have been rejected by the retailer. Over the group's objections Wal-Mart in 2003 expanded its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and last year it adopted a new definition of family that includes same-sex partners. (story)

The AFA has a long history of mounting boycotts against LGBT-friendly businesses and most cases the boycotts were preceded with a call for members to complain to company managers.

Earlier this month the AFA reinstated its boycott of Ford. (story)

The AFA said the company "reneged on an agreement to stop funding homosexual groups that promote same-sex marriage."

Joining the boycott are the Center for Reclaiming America, Liberty Counsel, CatholicVote.org, Faith2Action, and Citizens for Community Values among others.

The AFA boycotted Proctor and Gamble in 2004 after the Cincinnati-based P&G supported the repeal of an anti-gay law in that city. (story)

Last April April AFA declared victory over Proctor & Gamble after the company ended most of its advertising in the gay media. (story) The group claimed that more than 300,000 people had signed pledges not to buy P&G products.

The effect on P&G is believed to be one of the major reasons Microsoft decided to withdraw its support of a gay rights bill in the state of Washington following a meeting with a conservative Christian leader. (story) Following outrage from the company's gay workers and LGBT rights groups in Washington the company reversed course again and announced it would support gay rights measures in the future and the legislation finally passed. (story)

Last May, the AFA took aim at Kraft Foods - stopping just short of calling for a full boycott - for sponsoring the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. (story) Kraft has not budged in its support for the games.

Also last year, the AFA ended a nine year boycott of Disney called over Gay Days at the company's theme park in Orlando, Florida. Most people in the industry said the boycott had a negligible effect on Disney.

©365Gay.com 2006


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