Orlando Magic Owner's Pro-Marriage Stance Targeted by Gay Activist
DeVos Foundation Criticized for Donating $500K to National Organization for Marriage
A gay rights activist is calling for the boycott of the Orlando Magic basketball team and Amway direct selling company after discovering the companies' owner, Doug DeVos, donated $500,000 in 2009 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a proponent of traditional marriage.
"NOM constantly defends anti-LGBT companies like its ally Chick-fil-A and its owner for hateful and bigoted comments and actions," gay activist Fred Karger, president of the LGBT advocacy group Right Equal Rights foundation, said in an Aug. 3 statement referencing the boycott, according to ABC News.
Karger has also started a website at BoycottAmway.com to encourage patrons in favor of same-sex marriage to stop purchasing products from Amway, a Michigan-based direct selling company specializing in health supplements and beauty products.
The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, founded and financially supported by Douglas DeVos, president of Amway, donated the money to the National Organization for Marriage three years ago in support of traditional marriage in California and other states.
DeVos's father, Richard DeVos, owns Florida's Orlando Magic basketball team and is a co-founder of Amway.
Karger told the Raw Story that the DeVos Foundation's $500,000 donation was the largest family donation in NOM's history.
In response to the boycott, Amway released a statement, according to Michigan Live, which reads: "As private citizens, the DeVos family supports causes and organizations that advocate for policies aligned to their personal beliefs."
"Both families believe one of the highest callings of any individual is to express their own personal beliefs as a participant in the democratic process," the spokesperson added, referencing co-founders of Amway, Doug's father, Richard DeVos, and the late Jay Van Andel.
The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, a philanthropic foundation seeking to aid the community of Grand Rapids, Mich., has been very open of its Christian values, saying in its mission statement that it "seeks to share the importance of their Christian faith."
According to Michigan Live, Richard DeVos and Douglas DeVos come from a long line of conservatives who have repeatedly in the past donated their money to religious and conservative groups.
Karger's call for a boycott comes a week after gay activists across the nation protested Georgia-based fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A after CEO Dan Cathy expressed his views regarding homosexuality, saying that he believes, according to the Bible, in only traditional marriage.
In addition, those who are supporters of traditional marriage have targeted companies that outspokenly support same-sex marriage, such as General Mills, Target, and JC Penny.