Popular Culture

13 Things You’ll Lose Boycotting LGBT-Friendly Companies


The Reverend Franklin Graham created a stir when he announced that he would be boycotting companies that support marriage equality, and suggested that all Christians do the same. He made himself a laughingstock when, in order to prove his point, he moved his money from Wells Fargo (because the bank ran a commercial showing a same-sex couple) to BB&T — a bank that has sponsored Gay Pride parades and related programs, and hosted at least one same-sex wedding.

As funny as the Reverend Graham’s blustering mistake was, this highlights something bigger: society is increasingly moving toward acceptance of same-sex couples, so businesses are too. It’s only going to get harder to voice an anti-gay stance by avoiding LGBT-friendly businesses.

Here are some things Reverend Graham is going to lose if he insists on boycotting everything that’s gay-friendly.

1. Social media.

Sorry, Rev. Graham. You can hate gays and hate gay rights, but if you’re boycotting gay-friendly companies, you won’t be using social media to tell us. Facebook, Twitter and Google all joined an amicus brief earlier this year, telling the Supreme Court they support marriage equality.

2. Computers.

It’s just as well that you’ll be boycotting social media, since you’ll have a hard time getting online without a computer, and Apple, HP, and Microsoft have all joined that same amicus brief.

3.Other tech stuff.

It’s not like you were going to be doing much else online anyway: if you’re boycotting gay-friendly businesses, you’ll also be losing Dropbox, Electronic Arts Inc., Orbitz, and numerous other computer- and internet-centered companies.

4. Online shopping.

If you're boycotting LGBT-friendly companies, you just lost online shopping.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ebay.jpg>Photo Credit: Stephen Arnold

Specifically, you won’t be doing much online shopping. Amazon and eBay are out, and if you do find an anti-gay store to shop at, you’ll have to give them your debit or credit card information (once you locate an anti-gay bank), because PayPal (owned by eBay) will also be off-limits.

5. Cell phone services.

If you do decide to spend some time on the increasingly tiny portion of the internet that is anti-gay, using your smart phone isn’t going to be an easy trick for bypassing the computer companies: Verizon, AT&T, and several smaller companies that provide wireless communication service are also on the list. Don’t forget, iPhones are out.

6. Television.

Boycotting lgbt-friendly companies means no tv

You’ve probably noticed that television is becoming more inclusive of characters who are gay, lesbian, and otherwise non-cis. They aren’t always portrayed in a light that the LGBT community appreciates, but you’ll probably want to boycott them too, just to be on the safe side. Increasingly, even shows that don’t center on LGBT issues have at least one LGBT character show up, so you’re going to want to be really careful what you watch.

Incidentally, Viacom, which owns MTV,CMT, BET, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, SPIKE, and others, is on the list. So are the Walt Disney Company and CBS.

7. Television service.

If you’re sure you can find a few shows or channels to watch that aren’t supportive of marriage equality, you’ve still got to find television service. Comcast and DirecTV both signed the amicus. So did Cox Communications.

8. Movies.

You probably realize that Hollywood in general is pretty liberal. Still, maybe you’ve decided you can get around that, and only watch movies from anti-gay groups. Enjoy God’s Not Dead and Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, but be careful not to rent them from Redbox. Outerwall, the company that owns Redbox and other kiosks, like Coinstar, also signed the amicus. You already know you won’t be relying on Amazon instant Video. Netflix’s position is less clear — they made controversy a few years ago for a link referral service that funneled money to anti-gay groups, but have since abandoned that, and do offer numerous streaming movies, including documentaries, pertaining to LGBT rights.

9. E-books.

You’ve given up on tv and movies, and you’re going to read instead? Good choice. Now, pepsicoone book, you might decide to invest in an e-reader, so you can download books on a whim, and take them with you easily, in a portable, light format. You’ve already realized, I’m sure, that since Amazon supports marrriage equality, the Kindle is out for you. Looking into a Nook instead? Sorry, not sorry, but Barnes & Noble also signed the amicus supporting marriage equality. (Of course, this rules out paper books from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well.)

10. Fancy coffee.

If you’re boycotting LGBT-friendly companies, you probably already avoid the very liberal Starbucks. You won’t want to replace that with an at-home Keurig brewer — the Human Rights Campaign rates Keurig among high-scoring companies for LGBT equality within its ranks. Maxwell House, as a product of Kraft, also makes the grade.

11. Soft drinks.

Boycotting LGBT-friendly companies isn’t as simple as tossing out the coffee for soda. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are both off your list of options. The Dr. Pepper Snapple Company scores moderately high on the HRC’s list as well — there goes your RC Cola, A&W Root Beer, and your Welch’s. Looks like it’ll be store-brand colas and sweet tea for the Graham household. Not Lipton tea, though — parent company Unilever Brands scores high on the Human Rights Campaign’s metric for supporting equality.

12. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.

Don’t trade that coffee cup and soda can for a beer bottle, Rev. Graham. The stress of realizing that boycotting every pro-LGBT company is impossible might drive you to drink, but who are you buying your beer from? MillerCoors signed the amicus to the Supreme Court, as did several smaller breweries, wineries, and vineyards. Anheuser-Busch makes the HRC’s LGBT-friendly list. So does Brown-Forman — which makes Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, as well as numerous liquers and vodkas. Diageo (Captain Morgan, Seagrams, Smirnoff, and Crown Royal) makes the list as well.

13. Many other food items.

Looks like you may be drinking tap water — but what to eat with it? You won’t be picking foods from ConAgra, so no Slim Jims, Blue Bonnet, Crunch’n’Munch, Jiffy Pop, Kid Cuisine, Swiss Miss (aww, there went those plans of turning your tap water into hot cocoa), and numerous others. You’ve also lost General Mills — that’s a lot of cereal, plus Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant and Old El Paso products. Kellogs is out, too — bye-bye, Eggo Waffles and Pop-Tarts. Don’t think you’re going to grab a bag of chips, either — PepsiCo owns FritoLay, and Kellogs owns Pringles. Kraft is out, so if you decide to avoid packaged foods and butcher your own cow, you won’t be putting any A1 sauce on it. Also, no Velveeta, Cheez Whiz, Cool Whip, Stove Top, and many more.

This is a bare beginning — the list of LGBT-friendly food companies goes on and on.

Giving up every company that supports marriage equality is going to mean giving up virtually all of your tech products, most of your entertainment, and an awful lot of food products. In short, boycotting LGBT-friendly companies may actually already be impossible — and if not, it will soon be.

Steph Bazzle
Steph Bazzle is a homeschooling mom who likes to write about justice, equality, and religious issues.

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