The Home Depot Supports Gay Rights

The Home Depot
Copyright © 2013 by Wil C. Fry.
I never would have known that The Home Depot supports gay rights without the uber-conservative American Family Association’s daily radio program. AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country (according to its website). One of their programs plays on a local station here; I sometimes listen to it as an exercise in fairness.

Today, I heard that the AFA is urging their listeners to boycott The Home Depot because of a donation to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which is “the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans” (according to its website). The radio personality said the home improvement store had donated $8,500 to HRC.

I assumed he was mistaken.

He must have read the number incorrectly, right? Surely it was $85,000 or some other large number. But on the AFA website, it does indeed say $8,500. (I couldn’t find this number on any other website.) They explain: “Customers who shop at Home Depot should know that a portion of their purchase will be used to help push the legalization and promotion of homosexual marriage in America.”

Yes, a portion. What portion? For example, let’s say I spent $500 at The Home Depot in the last year. How much of that went to HRC? According to Bloomberg, The Home Depot’s profits in the last quarter were $1.23 billion, from a gross income of $19.1 billion. Extrapolate that for a year, and you get $76.4 billion. Of which $8,500 went to HRC. That’s 0.000011%. So, zero of my five hundred bucks went to HRC. Not even half of one penny.

Perhaps a local contractor bought a few thousand dollars’ worth of materials. They might be interested to know that a couple of pennies went to the HRC.

The Home Depot Stock
$80 per share
Then I learned that AFA has actually been boycotting The Home Depot for a while now, and not just because of this one donation as the radio announcer had insinuated. The AFA has a whole page about it. They’ve been calling for the boycott of the company since at least 2010. In that time, The Home Depot’s stock value has risen from about $25 per share to almost $80 per share.

I understand that the AFA has been successful in some past boycotts. But by their current record with The Home Depot, I’d like to start a company and have the AFA boycott it. It looks like a profitable path.

What was the most interesting part of the AFA’s entreaty was this: “AFA is promoting a boycott of Home Depot until it agrees to remain neutral in the homosexual culture war” (emphasis mine).

I would personally encourage the AFA to be more honest. It’s not neutrality that they want, is it? No. If the AFA simply wanted corporations to be neutral, they’d be boycotting Chick-fil-A, which has donated millions to anti-gay groups over the years and $1.9 million in 2010 alone (source). Chick-fil-A reportedly agreed to cease funding such groups, but quickly jumped to correct that.

So yes, I’m still waiting for the AFA to boycott them too — or admit that it’s not neutrality that they want in the “Culture War”. (Of course, this is a little tongue-in-cheek. AFA has never been bashful about what it wants.)

AFA says on its website: “…we believe the core goal of the homosexual movement is to abolish the traditional, Judeo-Christian view of human sexuality, marriage and family.” AFA Founder and President Donald E. Wildmon says on the same web page: “We oppose the effort to convince our culture that because individuals participate in homosexual behavior, they have earned the right to be protected like racial and other minority groups.”

If you know anyone who’s gay, think about whether their goal is to ‘undermine the fabric of society’ (Rick Santorum’s words), or whether they just want to live out their lives.

So, just to wrap up:

* Of your next purchase at The Home Depot, exactly $0.00 will be sent to support gay rights (unless you spend several thousand dollars), but AFA is pretty upset about it.

7 Comments
  1. There is an AFA repeater here in Ada, too. I don’t listen to it “as an exercise in fairness”, but, quite honestly, so I can gauge how idiotic America’s bigot have become.

  2. mamaolive says:

    Interesting.
    Bob listens to AFR; I don’t listen to any radio.

    We haven’t been to Home Depot for 2 years because of this issue. Personally, even without realizing what a small amount was donated, I think boycotts are really a little silly because every company gives money to somebody we don’t agree with. For instance, Nestle promotes formula over breastfeeding, Target gives to United Way which gives to Planned Parenthood (which, did you know, 60% of pro-lifers don’t even know that PP is the nations largest abortion provider?), etc. But Bob says as long as he can get what he needs at Lowe’s we’ll go there, and that’s fine because I really prefer to only have to learn one store’s layout and hours.
    (As an aside, when a friend overseas heard of some boycott, she was surprised that a store would be politically active. Whether they aren’t in other countries or she was ignorant, I don’t know.) (As an aside, #2, I think Home Depot did more than make a small donation; memory tells me they had a float in a Gay Pride parade or something.)

    Also, saying your gay friend doesn’t have an agenda = there not being a gay agenda isn’t a good argument. I know lots of public school teachers who love children and want the best for their students, but that doesn’t mean the Department of Education loves children and wants what’s best for them. There IS a “gay agenda” that has been documented by the leaders of the movement (not just by conservative watch groups).

    Anyrate, I personally know a man who isn’t even gay that dressed up in a dress and makeup and went out to eat at a family restaurant (with 2 girls all dolled up and wearing full facial jewelry) with obvious intentions of disrupting moral fabric. He knows lots of places where he could go to just live out his life without bothering other people, but didn’t on purpose to try to get a reaction.

    Of course AFA isn’t neutral, but I suspect that’s the best they can hope for out of an opposing company.

    One final thought, which I hope you can see as humorous: Soon after we got back to the States, Ella, having heard nothing about the Home Depot boycott or any derogatory terms for homosexuals, was trying to think of the name of the store and asked if it was “Homo Depot.”

  3. Wil C. Fry says:

    * “because every company gives money to somebody we don’t agree with”

    So true. For example: their CEOs. :-)

    * “memory tells me they had a float in a Gay Pride parade or something.”

    According to AFA, it was a booth, for which AFA couldn’t see “any business purpose” — I guess they didn’t think of advertising as a business purpose.

    * “saying your gay friend doesn’t have an agenda = there not being a gay agenda isn’t a good argument”

    But that wasn’t the argument I made. :-) It’s not whether they have “an agenda”. It’s about whether their agenda is to undermine the fabric of society, or (as the AFA put it) to “abolish the traditional, Judeo-Christian view of human sexuality”. My guess is that gay people don’t care whether that view is abolished, just that it ceases to negatively affect their daily lives.

    We can assume most people, and most groups of like people have an agenda of sorts, in varying degrees of organization. I see a huge difference between the following two groups’ agendas:

    Group 1: We want to be treated fairly.
    Group 2: We don’t want Group 1 to be treated fairly.

    (Guess which one is gay people and which one is the AFA.)

  4. Any time you have any doubt about whether something like the AFA’s position is wrong, just replace the target group’s name with “Jew” or “black” and see how it sounds.

    “Blacks shouldn’t be allowed to marry.”

    “Jews are trying to undermine the fabric of America.”

  5. Wil C. Fry says:

    Richard: It’s a good point.

    Perhaps it is fortunate for many gay people that not everyone around them knows. Most black people and many Jews did not have the option of keeping their “moral defect” hidden.

    Also, fortunately for gay people, they’re not being rounded up for extermination or sold into slavery. I have a feeling that they’ll win this struggle without the major wars that were required for Jews and blacks.

    I simply have seen no evidence that gay people being allowed to legally marry will affect my heterosexual marriage in any way.

  6. mamaolive says:

    ‘Any time you have any doubt about whether something like the AFA’s position is wrong, just replace the target group’s name with “Jew” or “black” and see how it sounds.
    “Blacks shouldn’t be allowed to marry.”
    “Jews are trying to undermine the fabric of America.”’

    Except that Jewishness and Blackness are physical traits, while homosexual behavior is a choice to sin. I don’t say the desire or the tendency is a choice – the act is. When society endorses sin rather than fights against it, the moral fabric is degraded.
    Take my pet sin – overeating. The tendency to pig out is in my genes, but I daily choose to indulge or not. If everybody around me suddenly starting affirming overindulgence; if every TV show and movie featured one morbidly obese person who just happened to be the smartest or funniest person in the show; if laws were enacted to protect the obese from discrimination (airlines can’t charge more, health insurance can’t charge more, companies can’t refuse to hire…), then it would become a lot easier for me to just let go and eat all I wanted every time. As a result I would be over 500 pounds, sick all the time, and die early, and “the government” (aka the people) would foot the bill. It’s not a sin to be hungry, but it is a moral defect to consistently overeat. And when people do what they ought not to do, it effects everybody.

    Wil, sorry I misrepresented your words on having an agenda. Maybe sometime if you are interested, I can try to find some of the information I’ve read on the Gay agenda, but for now I’m tired and I really don’t want this to become a “thing”. Right now I mainly just want to make the points that it’s not a bad thing to want people to do better, and that I’m not anywhere close to perfect and I know it, and I’m glad for the constraints that society places upon us all to help us to refrain from being worse.

  7. Wil C. Fry says:

    Shari:
    Of course the act is a choice. And I did (do?) intend to add a further entry (if/when I make the time for it) about how it’s not *quite* the same thing as being in a specific ethnic group.

    For example, my wife could “act white” but would still clearly and visibly be black. (Fortunately, she was born in the 1980s in the North rather than the 1930s in the South.) A gay person on the other hand could “act straight” and no one would be the wiser. In fact, that’s what’s happened for generations. They’ve unhappily married and tried to be straight. Some took occupations where not being around the other gender was normal. Some had secret affairs their whole lives.

    But clearly what’s in disagreement here is (1) whether their actions are intrinsically wrong or not wrong, and (2) whether it would have an effect (or a negative effect) on the rest of us. (And clearly these aren’t issues that will be handled well in the comments section here.)

    — As for overeating, I suppose it’s possible for someone to overindulge consistently without it having a negative effect on the rest of us… But as you indicate, it often does. And it IS good to remember that in our increasingly populated world all our actions increasingly affect everyone else around us. None of us live in a vacuum. Your waste ends up in my river; my smoke pollutes your air; etc.

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