McDonald's Includes Homosexuals in Anti-Discrimination Policy

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - McDonald's Corporation, one of the nation's largest fast food chains and a leading exporter of the American hamburger, has yielded to pressure from influential homosexual rights' organizations and added "sexual orientation" to the chain's non-discrimination and sexual harassment policy.

The new policy means McDonald's will teach employees to relate to homosexuals as minorities or as people of a separate ethnic group, a situation that has drawn sharp criticism from conservatives.

"It is an insult to African Americans and other minorities to have their ethnicity put on a par with homosexual behavior. And it is wrong to teach impressionable teenagers such things," Wendy Wright, a spokeswoman for Concerned Women for America, told

Although McDonald's new policy applies to employees of its corporate headquarters, it will eventually be foisted on local franchises, analysts said.

"When this happens, it will fulfill one of the homosexual activists' main goals - to recruit a new generation of children to the lifestyle. If they can convince impressionable children that homosexuality is normal, then they will have won that battle," Wright said.

"We need to be looking out for those kids as well as the franchisee owners. These are independent owners who are being forced to comply with something they weren't even allowed to discuss, because it wasn't brought up in a shareholder meeting.

Wright said there was no need for McDonald's to incorporate a pro-homosexual agenda into their diversity training because there has not been any discrimination.

"What this does is it inhibits the religious beliefs of franchisee owners and employees. There's the threat that if they even express some kind of negative attitude toward an unhealthy lifestyle - homosexuality - they could suffer some repercussions because of it," she said.

The written ban on anti-homosexual job discrimination demonstrates the growing power of shareholder activism in the effort to get corporations to introduce homosexual-friendly policies. McDonald's Corp., which is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., employs 2,800 people who provide support to the 24,500 franchise restaurants in the United States and 114 countries.

Homosexual activists, who believe the action will have a domino effect, especially in the fast food industry, have welcomed McDonald's new policy. calls to McDonald's for comment were not returned.