'Ford's action is a positive outcome and win for equality and fairness,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Companyreleased a statementtoday saying it would feature all of its brands in a 2006 ad campaign in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-themed publications. Indications that Ford made a deal with the right-wing extremist group American Family Association to cease some advertising in community publications were put to rest with this announcement, said the Human Rights Campaign.
"Ford's action is a positive outcome and win for equality and fairness," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Ford has sent a powerful signal that corporate America values its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers."
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country.It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
-LGBT COALITION STATEMENT FOLLOWS-
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Commend Ford Motor
Hail "Reaffirmation of Commitment to Our Community and American Values"
A broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations today commended Ford Motor Company for reaffirming its support for the LGBT community. In a statement released today, Ford reaffirmed its commitment to its progressive workplace policies, said it would place corporate advertising in LGBT publications on behalf of all of its brands, including Jaguar and Land Rover, and would continue financial support for LGBT organizations and events consistent with its business condition.
"We welcome today's statement from Ford Motor Company and commend their firm stance in support of inclusion. It is an unequivocal reaffirmation of Ford's historic commitment to our community and the core American values of fairness and equality. Moreover, it is conclusive proof of what Ford leaders have repeatedly assured us -- that there never was any deal with anti-LGBT organizations concerning Ford's support for our community.
We are proud to be back in gear with Ford and look forward to working with them in the years ahead."
Commercial Closet Association
Freedom to Marry
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Human Rights Campaign
Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (NYC)
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC)
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Pride at Work
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
World Congress of GLBT Jews: Keshet Ga'ava
The controversy erupted on December 1 when the American Family Association (AFA) officially announced it was dropping its threat of a boycott, saying Ford "heard our concerns they are acting on our concerns. We are pleased with where we are." The next day a Ford spokesperson appeared to confirm an agreement by saying the company would stop advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications. AFA is an extremist anti-LGBT organization that routinely threatens boycotts against LGBT-supportive companies, television programs it does not like, or even cartoon characters such as SpongeBob.
On December 5, eighteen leading LGBT organizations issued a statement calling upon Ford to disavow any agreement with AFA, to reaffirm its commitment to the LGBT community and to meet with the LGBT community and resolve the issue. As a result of that statement, Ford Motor executives met with LGBT community representatives in Washington, DC on December 12. There, Ford said it would issue a statement based on the topics discussed and the comprehensive statement released today was the result.
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