Old Navy's gay pride campaign challenged
WASHINGTON (BP)--The American Family Association has asked its supporters to challenge Old Navy's "Love Proudly: Pride 2011" campaign.
The campaign coincides with President Obama's declaration naming June "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender" (LGBT) pride month. The company is selling rainbow-colored gay pride T-shirts for men, women and children in 26 of its stores nationwide. Ten percent of the profits from these shirts will go to the "It Gets Better Project," a pro-homosexuality campaign aimed at teens.
"At Old Navy, we embrace inclusion and diversity," said Renate Geerlings, a media relations officer for Gap Inc. "Our customers and employees are of many different ethnicities, faiths and lifestyles. This line of T-shirts is one of many examples of a limited edition T-shirt that we carry during certain months of the year."
In a letter to more than 2.6 million supporters, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon asked them to "let Old Navy president Tim Wyatt know his decision to engage in corporate promotion and financial support of homosexuality is a bad idea."
According to Monica Cole, the director of AFA's OneMillionMoms.com project, tens of thousands of AFA supporters have already sent letters.
"We want our voice to be heard and our supporters' voices to be heard. [Old Navy] will lose business from Christians and conservatives because of this campaign," Cole said. Though she admitted that Old Navy will probably gain many homosexual customers, she thinks that they will lose many more long-time customers.
"We have heard from many families that they do not want their money going toward that project, so they are not going to be buying that T-shirt. And they are also not going to be going back into that store," Cole said.
The goal of Wildmon's letter was not only to have supporters petition Old Navy's president. AFA and OneMillionMoms.com are also concerned that conservative Christian parents will purchase these T-shirts without knowing that they are supporting "gay pride." The T-shirts read "Love Proudly: Pride 2011" but do not give any indication of supporting the LGBT campaign, Cole said. By asking people to protest Old Navy's decision, they hope to raise awareness to unknowing parents.
Cole said that AFA is simply asking Old Navy to "just sell clothes and remain neutral in this cultural war. We do not want to support a company that also stands for anything that we don't agree with."
Natalie Garnett is a writer for World News Service, where this story first appeared.