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August 25, 2006

Deep breath. Cue interminable laughter.

The Sun Sentinel is running a story about Wal-Mart "reaching out" to the GLBTQ community.

Never an organization to disappoint, the American Family Association has the best quote in the whole article:

"Up until a year and a half ago, the AFA applauded Wal-Mart for their pro-family policies, but now it seems Wal-Mart has decided to push aside that legacy left by [founder] Sam Walton and joined those who look at the bottom line and stock prices," Sharp told the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas.

Wow. Just wow. Where has Mr. Sharp been living? He's described the Wal-Mart of the past 15 years.

Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart to provide a wider selection of American-made, quality, reasonably-priced goods to smaller rural communities where such a thing didn't exist. You'd be hard-pressed to find something actually made in the US on a Wal-Mart shelf today, and many suppliers have their horror stories about how Wal-Mart tried to run them into the ground (Vlasic Pickles, Rubbermaid, and latest victim Levi Strauss, for example). Which is to say nothing of the local businesses Wallyworld massacres.

Or closing stores that turn toward organizing a union. Or leaving gigantic empty stores littering the country because company policy is to keep their buildings and not sell to anyone who might compete with them in any conceivable way.

And what the hell does "pro-family" mean in the context of Wal-Mart? The company that won't let pregnant women sit down? That doesn't pay a living wage? That cuts hours so it doesn't have to pay out benefits to its employees and their families?

Being the AFA, "pro-family" only means "anti-gay," of course. Nevermind that Wal-mart hasn't been "pro-family" in any sane use of the term in years. They're supporting those damn gays now, you know, and that's just completely in opposition to families continuing to exist in this Christian nation!

(Please note that I am well aware this is not a Christian nation and "under God" is not original to the Pledge of Allegiance.)

Better yet, what exactly has Wal-Mart done to align itself with The Gay Agenda™? Have they supported same-sex marriage, or even offered their employees domestic partner benefits?

Nope. All they did was pay the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce $25,000 to become a member.

If there's one quote in the article that's just plain sad, it comes from the rep for the Chamber:

"If we were to turn our back on Wal-Mart, we would be doing a disservice to those businesses that will benefit by becoming a part of Wal-Mart's diverse supply chain," he said.

Those businesses hoping to benefit may wish to consult with the giants brought to their knees by Wal-Mart's supply chain demands. You need look no farther than Levi Strauss; a company priding itself on quality goods made entirely in the USA signed a pact with the retail devil. And what did they get for it? The closure of every last one of their US factories in favor of offshoring (their financials ceased to work with Wal-Mart's purchase prices), and the ironically-named low-quality "Levi Strauss Signature" marque for sale exclusively at Wal-Mart stores.

But hey, at least a gay-owned company can go bankrupt fabulously.

Posted by Colin at August 25, 2006 11:26 PM

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