AFA Suspends Boycott Against Home Depot for Supporting Gay Activism; Claims Victory
Home Depot Spokesperson Denies Any Changes in Policy Have Occurred
A Mississippi-based socially conservative group has suspended its boycott of The Home Depot after the retail giant purportedly discontinued its support of gay activism.
Although the AFA has declared victory in the matter, a spokesman for The Home Depot has denied that any changes have been made to the company's position. The American Family Association announced last Thursday the suspension of their "Boycott Home Depot Pledge," which was started in 2010 and garnered approximately 740,000 signatures. A spokesperson for the AFA provided The Christian Post with an official statement from Tim Wildmon, president of the organization.
"We have been monitoring Home Depot quite closely, and there is no doubt that at the corporate level the company has withdrawn major financial contributions to gay activist organizations," said Wildmon.
The Home Depot has been involved in many gay pride parades, including the San Francisco Gay Pride parade in June 2011 where it rolled out a flat-bed company truck with a large rainbow sign.
Home Depot has stated in the past that it strives to "raise internal awareness and understanding of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender customer segment and promote inclusion and respect for all associates."
Stephen Holmes, director of Corporate Communications for The Home Depot, told The Christian Post that the AFA's statement is "not accurate."
"We haven't made any changes to our policies for inclusion and respect of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation," said Holmes. "We have not directed our associates to discontinue participation in Pride or other community events, and have no intention of doing so."
Regarding the apparent contradiction, Wildmon's statement given to CP noted how carefully phrased Home Depot's response was to the AFA's claims. "You will notice that the Home Depot spokesman nowhere denies that at the corporate level such funding changes have been made," said Wildmon. "We will not be any more specific than that, and that's something Home Depot ought to be grateful for. We are sparing them intense pressure that would come from specific groups if we started naming names."
In previous years, AFA has boycotted Gap Inc. over allegedly censoring the word "Christmas" in its ad commercials and promotions. The pro-family organization has also launched boycotts against McDonald's and Ford Motor Co. over their support of LGBT groups.