Marriott, Comcast, Giant, Hyatt, Food Lion, Macy’s, Chipotle, Hershey's and Other Businesses Sponsor Dinner for Leading Gay Activist Group That Promotes Same-Sex Marriage, Attacks Catholic and Mormon Churches

October 7, 2010 - 6:47 PM

lesbian couple

Lesbian couple holding hands. (Wikipedia Commons, flickr.com)

(CNSNews.com) – Dozens of major American corporations are listed as sponsors of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual fundraiser, both on the homosexual advocacy group’s Web site and in advertising to promote the event.

HRC advocates same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, and ending the military's ban on homosexuals.  The group has also accused Pope Benedict XVI of "hurting people in the name of Jesus" for stating that condoms are not the solution to the AIDS problem, while accusing the Catholic church of being "immoral and insulting to Jesus" for declining to serve communion to a openly lesbian couple.

The HRC is currently running a letter-writing campaign demanding that Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Latter Days Saints, retract statements he made on Sunday that homosexual behavior is “impure and unnatural” and that the America should not legalize same-sex marriage.  "There are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God's laws and nature,” Packer said.

The HRC’s open letter to Packer accuses him of “potentially contributing” to suicides among young people. “I’m appalled that you chose this moment to deliver a sermon saying same-sex attraction is unnatural and same-sex unions are immoral,” says the HRC letter to Packer. “You have risked further alienating LGBT youth and potentially contributing to suicides of even more vulnerable young people.”

Among the corporations supporting the Saturday’s event include Marriott, Comcast, Giant, Hyatt, Food Lion, Macy’s, MetLife, Chipotle and Hershey’s. (A complete list of sponsors follows this story).

The HRC did not respond to questions from CNSNews.com about what kind of donation is necessary to earn a sponsorship spot for what is billed as the “No Excuses” National Dinner.

President Barack Obama spoke at HRC’s dinner last year. This year’s speakers and honorees are scheduled to include pop-singer Pink, entertainer Bette Midler, and the cast of the ABC series “Modern Family.”

The HRC actively for same-sex marriage, overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, adoption rights for same-sex couples and workplace policies in private sector businesses such as diversity training that includes sexual orientation and “guidelines for gender transition.”

In its mission statement, the HRC expresses its broad goals:

“HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. 

“HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.”

CNSNews.com asked nine sponsors of the HRC dinner – Marriott, Comcast, Giant, Hyatt, Food Lion, Macy’s, MetLife, Chipotle and Hershey’s -- several questions about their sponsorship, including whether they believed their customers are aware of their support for the HRC and its agenda; why they supported the HRC;  and if they supported organizations that advocated for traditional marriage and families.

Only two corporations responded to repeated requests from CNSNews.com.

Giant Food, a Dutch-owned multi-national corporation, issued a statement from its Maryland office saying, “Giant Food of Landover, Md. supports hundreds of initiatives in the communities we serve. Our region consists of very diverse communities and we work hard to support the people and organizations in our region.”

A spokesperson with Food Lion said the company is “committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for associates and customers.”

“We want to ensure that all of our associates and customers are treated with acknowledgment and respect,” Christy Phillips-Brown told CNSNews.com. “We support a wide variety of events that reflect the diversity of our associates and customers.

 “We strongly believe that our long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion builds a more inclusive company and stronger communities,” Phillips-Brown said.

She said Food Lion “supports a wide range of initiatives and programs, including faith-based organizations,” but she could not name one of the faith-based groups.

Robert Knight, a senior writer with Coral Ridge Ministries, told CNSNews.com that corporate America has been taken in by the pro-homosexual agenda.

“Many corporations have bought into the false idea that people are born gay, can’t change, and that sexual inclination is the same as race,” said Knight, who has written extensively on social issues and testified before Congress against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. “But unlike race or ethnicity, sex has a moral component. The behavior is volitional – and tragic.”

Knight also said that homosexuality is hurting those who claim that their sexual orientation is a civil right.

“A new CDC survey shows that one in every five gay or bisexual males has the HIV virus, even after years of so-called ‘safe sex’ education,” Knight said. “If any other group’s behavior triggered that kind of stat, there would be a national outcry for discouraging it, not promoting it as a ‘civil right.’”

“The other side of this is that employees with traditional values are forced into re-education ‘diversity’ sessions and told that their sense of normalcy and morality is really just hate and bigotry,” Knight said. “This violates the freedoms of religion, speech and conscience.”

The list of sponsors for the HRC’s 2010 National Dinner is as follows:

Presenting sponsor: Paul Hastings.

Diamond sponsors: Accenture, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, UPS, and Wachovia.

Platinum sponsors: AARP, Brown-Forman, Cardinal Health, Constellation Energy, EMC2, Hyatt, Kaiser Permanente, Miller Coors, National Education Association, and Nielsen.

Gold Sponsors: Baker & McKenzie, Comcast, Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art & Design, DC Magazine, Hargrove, Hilton Worldwide, Hunton&Williams, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Marriott, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Hershey’s.

Silver sponsors: Chipotle, Davis & Harman, DicksteinSharpio LLP, Food Lion, Giant, McDermott Will & Emery, McGuire Woods, Metro Weekly, Opal, PNC Bank, Pulte Homes, ROI Solutions, Washington Life Magazine, Washington Blade, and Witeck Combs Communications.

Bronze sponsors: Brettrospective, Choice Hotels International, Convio, Gleman Rosenberg & Freedman, George Mason Mortgage LLC, Medtronic, Miles & Stockbridge, P[Four], Planned Parenthood, Sidley Austin LLP, UFCW, Urbanpace, Verizon, and Wells Consulting.

Major Donor and VIP Reception Sponsor: PricewaterhouseCooper.

Silent Auction Sponsor: Macy’s Inc.

After-Party Sponsor: Google.

Wine Sponsor: Beaulieu Vineyard.

National Corporate Sponsors

National Platinum Sponsor: American Airlines/Rainbow, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Microsoft, and Nationwide.

National Gold Sponsor: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Lexus, and Prudential.

National Silver Sponsor: BP, Beaulieu Vineyard, Chevron, Google, Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Nike, Shell, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

National Bronze Sponsor: Chase, Concierge Travel, Cox Enterprises, Dell, Goldman Sachs, MetLife, Olivia, Orbitz, PaulHastings, PWC, Replacements, LTD, Showtime, Starbucks, TD Ameritrade, TD Bank, Tylenol PM and Waste Management.