Thursday, December 08, 2005

You go, gays... I mean, guys!

This is an interesting news issue. Some radical Christian and anti-gay activists have been pressuring American businesses, like Ford, Wells Fargo bank, etc. to pull advertising from "gay" publications.

On the one hand, even as an independent, not tied to "I cannot accept this as a Republican" or "Everything goes, because I am a Democrat" points of view, I can see SOME logic, as discussed here in this blog, to religious institutions' tryig to stick to their century old traditions and values when it comes to dealing with sexuality-related issues. e.g. the Catholic Church and its (somewhat strange and illogical) stance on gays in the clergy.

On the other hand, I think it is borderline fascism, reminiscent of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to have religion-driven neo-con Bible-thumpers attacking and pressuring legitimate businesses, like Ford or Wells Fargo, from marketing to legitimate customers, in legitimate media, using legitimate ads, which do not in ANY way get in the face of these nut-case religious fanatics.

It would be one thing for these Bible-thumpers to condemn Ford (which I do not much care for anyway, and it seems which consumers don't much care for either) if Ford was showing two gay men kissing in an ad for a Ford FOCUS ;-) in, say, a "general/family" magazine. But, if Ford is catering to a demographic group, gays, by advertising to them in "THEIR" media, much like they could marked their lousy cars to Hispanics in Spanish media, or in local Indian/Pakistani publications read by engineers with jobs in Silicon valley, WHAT is the problem? It is merely intolerance of the right wing fanatics, doing its best to impose its will on the nation and society.

Quite frankly, I support gays having the right to live together in official relationships especially when the bast majority of people in gay relationships are not about "in your face" statement-making. Yet, I do not agree with their demanding such a relationship being officially called "marriage". (Check out the podcasts at http://imran.com/media/podcasts/ for more on that).

I somewhat understand, if not agree, with the Church or religious organizations limiting how they deal with openly gay people (or women) in the clergy. But, I think this attack on businesses by right wing fundamentalist Christians should be unacceptable to all Americans, gay, straight or confused.

This is one slippery slope that will lead to the eventual erosion of religious and social freedoms that make this country the greatest place in the world to live, no matter what we believe, no matter what we practice.

I am told by a commentator that Wells Fargo did NOT cave in. But, if Ford and others are caving in, Shame on them. What valid customer group will they pull back from next based on some (a)moral religion-thumping non-majority's demands? What will be the next pullback criterion? Color? Race? Marital Status? Religion?

This is an important issue for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. What the gay community needs to do is show their own clout, by boycotting Ford and closing their accounts at any vendor that sells them out as a group. You go, gays, errr, guys, I mean, people ....!

Imran

4 comments:

lloydletta said...

Wells Fargo didn't listen to Focus on the Family - they did the right thing - so they deserve the patronage of gay and lesbian consumers. Ford is saying they don't want gay money with their latest action.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the comment, lloydletta I have made the update in the blog.

Imran

Imran Farooq said...

I completely agree with you. It's funny how nobody is attacking other companies like the clothing industry which market heavily to gays. I'm not surprised if Wells Fargo does not cave in because bottom line is profits and gays can be a lucrative market. At the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if a company like Ford does cave in because they try to convey the All-American image (which homosexuality is clearly not a part of) to sell trucks etc. If word got out that they were marketing to gays; that could hurt their primary market. I don't necessarily agree with that but I could see that happening and they have every right to do what they think is in their companies' best interests.

Imran Anwar said...

Yes, Imran Farooq, a company has to do what is in it's own interest. But, if they are caving in to a fundamentalist Christian driven group, what's next? Companies could be pressured not to cater to Muslims, Blacks, Women, Jews, or any group the non-majority but virulently active fundamentalists would not like to be acknowledged or served. How would America be different from the stone-age bearded uneducated idiots in Pakistan who are less than 1% of the population but burn tyres and protest anything that is remotely modern in society?

Imran