Hoping to be the biggest threat to American automobile manufacturers since the arrival of large numbers of low-priced Japanese cars in the 1980s, the American Family Association, a virulently anti-gay group, has marshaled a large portion of its resources over the last two years attempting to organize its constituents to boycott the Ford Motor Company over its marketing to gays and lesbians. While a planned boycott one year ago was cancelled, AFA almost immediately reconsidered – claiming the automaker had “reneged” on some kind of “agreements” – and began a boycott in earnest in March.
Adding to its list of grievances – such as Ford running a commercial during a CBS program that had a kiss between two women – AFA cites an e-mail sent by Ford’s “grassroots action program” that urged its employees to vote, and directed them to two sites with information about candidates and ballot initiatives. One of the sites, Ballot.org, describes ballot initiatives in various states and provides links to proponents’ and opponents’ web sites. The AFA didn’t like Ballot.org’s descriptions or endorsements – especially the site’s opposition to anti-gay constitutional amendments.
According to AFA, this is just more evidence that Ford has “elected to throw their company resources behind the promotion of homosexual marriage.” AFA is urging more of its supporters to join its boycott and to contact local Ford dealers.
At the Values Voter Summit in September, AFA President Don Wildmon bragged that his efforts were having a considerable effect on the company’s bottom line. While this claim is dubious to say the least – AFA’s nine-year Disney boycott fizzled out – the Ford boycott did at least become an issue in Michigan’s race for governor, with pro-gay groups publicizing ties between AFA and Republican candidate Dick DeVos in order to undermine DeVos’s stated support of the auto industry.