Wal-Mart: 'gay-friendly' & proud of it

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--On its official walmartstores.com website, Wal-Mart promotes its alliances with homosexual groups along with other minority groups on a webpage devoted to diversity.

Under the heading, “Relationships with Minority and Women Constituent Groups,” Wal-Mart says its diversity relations division “establishes and maintains productive, trust-based partnerships with women and minority stakeholder groups, community leaders and suppliers to continually improve Wal-Mart's reputation as a socially responsible enterprise.”

“Wal-Mart is building strong and valuable relationships with key national leaders and leadership groups,” the statement says, adding that Wal-Mart leaders met with and supported a number of leadership groups, which are then listed.

Among a list of minority groups including African Americans, Asians, women and Hispanics is a subheading called “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender.” The groups listed under that category are the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Out & Equal (Workplace Advocates) and The Point Foundation.

The Human Rights Campaign, according to its website, “is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.”

Wal-Mart has drawn criticism from pro-family advocates in recent months for its more highly publicized partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, in which Wal-Mart will pay the chamber $25,000 a year for sponsorship of events and initiatives and has agreed to conduct workshops for homosexual business owners on how to break into the Wal-Mart supplier ranks.

The chamber of commerce, according to its website, “is the premier advocate on behalf of LGBT owned businesses, professionals, students of business, and corporations that share in our desire to expand the community's financial opportunities, economic growth, continued innovation, and equality.”

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates “is the pre-eminent national organization devoted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the workplace.”

“Our mission is to educate and empower organizations, human resource professionals, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices and benefits in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, expressions or characteristics,” Out & Equal says on its website.

The Point Foundation is a national scholarship fund that “provides financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.”

“The Point Foundation seeks the partnership of philanthropic individuals, corporations and foundations to supply financial support, professional guidance and a network of contacts for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students who are underprivileged and/or have been socially marginalized -- principally by reason of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity,” according to the foundation’s website.

As additional evidence of Wal-Mart’s support of the homosexual agenda, the American Family Association circulated an e-mail to its 3 million supporters Oct. 23 listing some books sold by Wal-Mart that promote “gay marriage.” Among the titles are “What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage,” “Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America,” “Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry” and “Gay Marriage, Real Life: Ten Stories of Love and Family.”

AFA also reported that a quick search of Wal-Mart’s website turned up 1,148 gay items for sale, 468 lesbian items, 40 transgender items, 38 bisexual items and 26 “gay marriage” items. The pro-family organization did not elaborate on the nature of those items.

Don Wildmon, chairman of AFA, urged his supporters to contact their local Wal-Mart stores and express their displeasure with the corporation’s promotion of homosexuality. He also is advising people to shop elsewhere, said Wildmon, whose similar efforts have led to various companies’ reversal of course.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Wal-Mart executives should consider changing the company's slogan to “Always low prices -- and even lower standards.”

“Corporate America has paid royally for offending values voters,” Perkins said in the FRC Action Update e-mail Oct. 24. “In the last few months, the Ford Motor Company -- which refused to change its pro-homosexual stance -- has announced double-digit losses. Under pressure, NBC, which considered airing a concert where Madonna hangs from a crucifix, decided not to double-cross viewers and pulled the scene.

“Wal-Mart executives may have to learn the hard way that the customer is always right,” Perkins added. “Join us in urging the company to return to its pro-family roots.”

Link to Wal-Mart’s diversity relations webpage: http://walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=522&contId=5993.

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