McDonald's gives support to homosexual activists' agenda
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A McDonald's executive has joined the board of directors for the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a business organization known for aggressively pushing the homosexual agenda.
Richard Ellis, McDonald's vice president of communications, was elected to the advocacy group's board in March, according to a news release from the NGLCC.
"I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work," Ellis said, according to the news release. "I share the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] community and I look forward to playing a role in moving these important initiatives forward."
Justin Nelson, the cofounder and president of the homosexual chamber of commerce, said the group "could not be more delighted with the addition of Richard to the board. Richard brings his extensive experience in communications and public affairs to a dynamic team of leaders."
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, according to its website, "represents the interests of the estimated 1.4 million LGBT owned businesses in the United States. Through its affiliated network of 45 state and local chambers and business organizations, the NGLCC is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the country."
In recent years, Wal-Mart, one of the nation's leading retailers, also joined the homosexual chamber of commerce but, in the face of protests across the country, subsequently announced it would not make corporate contributions to support or oppose "highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers."
The decision by McDonald's to place an executive on the board prompted the American Family Association to circulate a national alert via e-mail April 3, explaining that McDonald's "gave an undisclosed amount of money to the NGLCC in return for being recognized as a major promoter of the homosexual agenda." The chamber then placed Ellis on its board of directors, AFA said.
"You have to buy your way onto the board," Don Wildmon, founder and chairman of AFA, told Baptist Press April 3. "In other words, McDonald's paid money to be a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.... I was surprised at McDonald's, and I think it's going to hurt them pretty bad."
Wildmon said AFA has tried to contact McDonald's regarding the move but as of Thursday at noon had not spoken with anyone. He said a boycott of McDonald's "is always a possibility" in a situation like this.
"I think what we plan to do right now is wait and see how McDonald's responds," Wildmon said. "If they continue like they're going, then I think we would very seriously consider looking at a boycott. Following our success with the Ford boycott, I think we could generate some numbers that would impress McDonald's."
In March, AFA announced the end of a two-year boycott of Ford Motor Company during which Ford's North American sales declined an average of 8 percent per month. That boycott pertained to Ford's promotion of the homosexual agenda.
WorldNetDaily, in a copyrighted story on the McDonald's decision to join the homosexual advocacy group, noted that McDonald's is listed on the website of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a "corporate partner and organization ally," for an undisclosed financial contribution.
Also on the list of partners and allies: Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson, OfficeMax and three real estate companies, ERA, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, among others.
McDonald's officials declined to return a call from WorldNetDaily seeking comment on Ellis' placement on the chamber board, the article said, but the restaurant company did send an e-mail confirming their support of the chamber.
"McDonald's is indeed a Corporate Partner and Organizational Ally of NGLCC. Our vice president of communications, Richard Ellis, was recently elected to its board of directors," Heidi Barker, senior director of media relations at McDonald's, wrote in an e-mail to World Net Daily.
McDonald's did not respond to Baptist Press' request for comment April 3.
The WorldNetDaily article also referred to comments on the McDonald's corporate website attributed to CEO Jim Skinner, who said last May in comments unrelated to the current matter that McDonald's is "socially responsible."
"Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are," Skinner said. "We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world ... and we do."
The McDonald's website also describes McDonald's as "the world's community restaurant" and says "diversity at McDonald's is understanding, recognizing and valuing the differences that make each person unique," the World Net Daily exclusive said.
The American Family Association is asking its supporters to call their local McDonald's and ask why the company is using its size and resources to promote the homosexual agenda.
AFA also is urging concerned citizens to send an e-mail to Andrew McKenna, president of McDonald's. The text of a sample e-mail provided by AFA reads: "I am surprised to learn that McDonald's has decided to put their entire corporate strength behind the promotion of the homosexual agenda. I'm asking McDonald's to remain neutral in the culture war. Your efforts should be in providing the finest fast food products possible, not in a political battle -- especially helping promote an aberrant and destructive behavior." AFA provides a link to send an e-mail of concern at https://secure.afa.net/afa/activism/TakeAction.asp?id=314.
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press. Art Toalston, editor of Baptist Press, contributed to this report.