McDonald's Should Quit 'Gay' Commerce Chamber, Family Group Says

By Josiah Ryan | July 7, 2008 | 8:06pm EDT

( - Richard Ellis, vice president of communications for McDonald's USA, recently joined the board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to promote the business of McDonald's to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - a step the conservative American Family Association (AFA) opposes.

The AFA wants Ellis to resign from the board and for McDonald's to withdraw as a "corporate partner" from the NGLCC, in part because they think the organization will lobby for homosexual marriage.

"McDonalds is thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work," Ellis said in a press statement released by the NGLCC in March.

"McDonalds shares the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community and I look forward to playing a role in moving these important initiatives forward," he said.

The NGLCC claims to represent 1.4 million LGBT- owned businesses in the United States. McDonald's, along with a number of other companies, including IBM, Wells Fargo, Coors Light, and Intel, is listed on the NGLCC Web site as a corporate partner.

Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the AFA, told Cybercast News Service that it is not necessary for McDonald's to maintain membership in such a group for the company to deal fairly and dispassionately with its homosexual customers and employees.

"By joining the NGLCC, they [McDonald's] are endorsing a lifestyle we believe many of their customers would oppose," said Sharp. "They should just remain neutral. They should just say we are not going to get involved. America is finding out that when you choose sides, you are going to offend a large contingent of your customers.

Once corporate America gets involved in promoting homosexuality, it's just a matter of time until it starts endorsing same-sex marriage," said Sharp. "We are calling on McDonald's to resign their position on the board of directors and not to renew their membership next year."

The NGLCC Web site does not say anything specifically about endorsing homosexual marriage, but it does have an "advocacy" component that, in part, reads: "Advocacy is a top priority for the NGLCC, whether it's lobbying Congress or the White House, commenting on regulatory issues or working with leaders throughout America's top corporations to bring about equality, opportunity and change. ... NGLCC plays an important role in influencing legislation on a national level."

Sharp told Cybercast News Service that the AFA thinks part of the agenda of the NGLCC is to help promote homosexuality throughout America.

"It's a stepping stone for homosexual activists to get their feet in the door and begin promoting their agenda," said Sharp. "We know the number one goal of homosexual activists right now is to pass legislation and press for same-sex marriage. We believe marriage should only be between one man and woman."

Neither the NGLCC nor McDonald's chose to comment on this story despite numerous requests from Cybercast New Service.

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