I was watching college football with some friends the other day, when The Home Depot’s ESPN Game Day Sponsorship commercial flashed on the wide flat screen. I asked my friend Tony, “So, what do you think about the Home Depot boycott?”
“Boycott? What boycott?” was my friends response – exactly what I had expected.
I’ve asked different people this question several times, always to get the same answer. No one has an opinion about the boycott. They don’t even know why they should boycott Home Depot, even though the American Family Association (AFA), has been blowing the whistle and petitioning for signatures against the large home improvement chain for over two years.
According to the AFA:
The Home Depot has chosen to sponsor and participate in numerous gay pride parades and festivals. Most grievous is The Home Depot’s deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.
The AFA includes a video clip featuring Home Depot’s involvement in various gay pride events across the country.
The accusation that they expose children to inappropriate displays of behavior is not unfounded for two reasons. First, I have seen such displays of behavior at these events first hand – please, let me explain.
It just so happens that the gay pride parade in New York City always coincides with the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi every year. Since the parade marches down Fifth Avenue, St Patrick’s Cathedral holds the traditional procession of the Blessed Sacrament – an important part of the sacred liturgy for that day – indoors on that occasion. Now, I find it odd that the gay pride parade always coincides with this liturgical celebration, seeing as how Corpus Christi is a movable feast. Perhaps the gay pride parade also follows the lunar calendar, but it just seems like too much of a coincidence that the two events should always fall on the same day.
Having gone to St Patrick’s Cathedral several times for the Corpus Christi celebration, I am familiar with the gay pride event and the types of things one sees. The streets are strewn with cross-dressers (not just on Fifth Avenue) flaunting their lifestyle to every passerby. There are other types of lewd conduct that I will not mention here. Children who are present would be exposed to these types of things as well.
Second, several websites (e.g., onemillionmoms) have alleged that The Home Depot also has sponsored booths and children’s craft workshops at gay pride and other homosexual events in the following cities: Nashville, Atlanta, Kansas City, Durham, Portland and San Diego.
One does not have to search the web too deeply to find numerous articles to this effect. Just googling the words Home Depot Boycott or Home Depot Support for Gay Pride, I found a plethora of stories from both sides of the debate. The LGBTQNation and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shout back at the AFA, accusing them of Hate Crimes and Christian Bigotry. They also proudly voice their support of The Home Depot. Unfortunately, I found very little information available from The Home Depot itself. Here’s what I did find.
According to their own website, Home Depot officially sponsors NASCAR, the Mexican National Soccer Team, ESPN Game Day, The Atlanta Braves, The Atlanta Falcons, The Atlanta Thrashers (no longer a team in Atlanta, so they need to update their site), The Atlanta Hawks, and… the list goes on but no mention of Gay Pride. Of course, you would not expect Home Depot to announce themselves on a nationally televised event as “The Proud Sponsor of the Mexican National Soccer Team and Gay Pride.” They certainly wouldn’t promote themselves as advocates of Gay Pride at a NASCAR event.
Reading between the lines, however, I see an inconsistency between their pride and their secrecy. They’re not just peacefully marching down main street at Gay Pride events. In at least one case, it appears that they have not been fully public about their support for Gay Pride. Here are three more things you should know about the Depot.
To be fair, Home Depot does express their support for the gay community on their diversity page with the following statement:
Pride Network’s mission and focus is to raise internal awareness and understanding of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender customer segment and promote inclusion and respect for all associates.
Regarding their support for the gay community, I found a couple of things that were not on their website. In 2001, The Home Depot awarded a grant of $2,500 to “Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to assist with counseling of people who declare their homosexuality.”
Assisting people with counseling is laudable. That was in 2001. More recently, it appears that they have assisted in other ways that you were probably not aware of. According to the HRC (a gay rights advocacy group), The Home Depot was very influential in helping to pass gay marriage in New York.
Over a half a million people have signed AFA’s boycott of Home Depot. Unfortunately, their measures have been ineffective, because from what I have gathered, most people, outside of AFA’s readership and certain gay rights groups, haven’t even heard about the issue – just like you probably did not know that Home Depot helped pass gay marriage in New York. Home Depot obviously does not want you to know this either. No mention of it from them. That’s why you probably never heard anything about it, until now.
If your found this story helpful, try this. The next time you see a Home Depot ad at a NASCAR race or some other sporting event, ask someone you’re with – just one person – what he thinks about AFA’s Home Depot boycott. It might be news to him, and if it is, he’ll probably thank you for letting him know.