San Francisco based gay activist and blogger Roy Steele is organizing, and calling for a nationwide boycott of retailers enrolled in the Christian Values Network (CVN) shopping web portal, including Sears, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target.
The CVN participating retailers donate a portion of each sale made via the website, to non-profit religious groups, including the Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family. The former of these organizations has been labelled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“As a gay Christian man, it offends me that these retail stores are donating money to organizations that promote hatred toward the LGBT community,” Steele said.
“The Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family, have a long history of spreading lies and misinformation about the LGBT community, and the effectiveness of reparative therapy, or ‘pray away the gay.’ Their behavior is anything but Christian. If these retail organizations are going to support the hate groups financially, it is incumbent upon our community, and our allies, to organize and rise up against hate.”
Through the blog “Tie-dyed Jive in the (415)” Steele is coordinating efforts to call, email, fax and write the retail stores. He is also coordinating Labor Day picket lines and protests for brick and mortar locations of retail organizations that do not remove themselves from the CVN network.
“The LGBT community, and the American people, are tired of the hate filled rhetoric that groups like FRC, and Focus on the Family, continue to preach in the name of Christianity,” Steele noted.
The boycott begins immediately, and follows a successful campaign by Bellingham, Wash., student Ben Crowther, to convince Apple to sever ties with CVN.
In addition, Microsoft, Macy’s Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, and BBC America have ended their relationship with CVN after they became aware of the relationship between the web portal and the hate groups.
“It is time for the other retailers to do the same,” said Steele.
A complete list of boycott targets can be found on the website “Tie-dyed Jive in the (415).”
Steele’s boycott also names Home Depot, which coincidentally is the target of another boycott, this one by the American Family Association, because it says the home improvement retailer continues to “promote the homosexual agenda.”
The AFA, also a certified “hate group” according to the SPLC, points to The Home Depot’s website, which supports the diversity-oriented organization “Out and Equal Workplace Advocates,” an LGBT advocacy group that supports workplace diversity, marriage equality, and activities such as Transgender Remembrance Day. The Home Depot also supports the Human Rights Campaign.
Established in 2011, the blog “Tie-died Jive in the (415)” is focused on promoting equal rights and marriage equality, and ending discrimination and hateful rhetoric by religious leaders, and politicians.