(CNSNews.com) - Food Lion, a regional grocery store chain with 1,300 stores primarily in the mid-Atlantic and southern United States, is celebrating June as "LGBT Pride Month" by inserting a message championing the “Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered (LGBT) community” in flyers advertising a weekly list of product deals.
The chain included the phrase “Partners in Pride: Celebrating our LGBT Customers and Associates” in at least one weekly advertisement sent out earlier this month.
Christy Phillips-Brown, the director of external communication for Food Lion, told CNSNews.com that the statement was inserted because President Barack Obama had proclaimed June LGBT Pride month.
“Food Lion is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for associates and customers,” Phillips-Brown wrote. “We want to ensure that all associates who work here and all customers who do business with us are treated fairly and with respect. We value all our associates and customers, regardless of difference.”
"The statement" in the flyers, she said, "was planned for one week to acknowledge the national proclamation of LGBT Pride month."
Food Lion is the first supermarket chain to formally endorse “gay pride” and the homosexual agenda, according to the conservative American Family Association (AFA), of Tupelo, Miss., which has drafted an action item in response to the advertisement.
Randy Sharp, the AFA director of special projects, told CNSNews.com that AFA is not asking its constituents to boycott Food Lion, but is encouraging people to e-mail Food Lion’s president, Cathy Green, to let her know that they object to the food chain endorsing homosexuality.
“The profit margin on groceries is less than two percent, they run on a very close margin, and so any loss of business from Food Lion affects the bottom line," said Sharp. "And if their advertising offends more people than it brings in to the store, (Food Lion is) going to lose money. That’s why they should just stay neutral. Just stay out of it.”
The North Carolina-based Food Lion is owned by the Delhaize Group, a Belgian corporation. But the chain operates stores in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and throughout the Mid-South, operating under the Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harvey’s Supermarkets and Reid names.
“With Food Lion, their business purpose is to sell a good quality product at a good price to help families live better lives,” Sharp told CNSNews.com. “When they take profits from these sales, from these families, and give it to homosexual activists who are promoting gay marriage, then the Food Lion is not serving its business purpose – it’s engaging in activism."
“And so we’re just saying, stay out of it – do what you do and don’t get involved in these kinds of issues because it can hurt your business, because you are going to offend a portion of your customer base," said Sharp. "So don’t do it, just stay neutral."