Following a link from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s website leads to a promotional for children’s Happy Meals at the McDonalds website

McDonald’s restaurants, famed for the Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald and kids meals, launched an e-mail response defending its advocacy for homosexual influences in business after the American Family Association alerted its constituency about the company’s activities.

But the AFA now is calling on the giant fast-food corporation to be honest in its discussion.

“Here is the indisputable fact about McDonald’s: McDonald’s joined the [National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce] and have a position on the NGLCC Board of Directors,” AFA said in a statement on its website.

The AFA recently had sent its alert to supporters regarding McDonald’s joining the special-interest organization, which lists McDonald’s on its website as a “corporate partner and organization ally” for an undisclosed financial contribution, and the company’s installing one of its officers on the NGLCC board. In response, McDonald’s has been dispatching e-mails justifying its actions.

“Unfortunately, McDonald’s is attempting to confuse the fact that they are supporting the homosexual agenda in an e-mail they are sending to those who contact them about the matter,” the AFA said.

In a point-by-point response to McDonald’s, the AFA asked the corporation for honesty, and called its verbal maneuvers “disingenuous.”

“As a Christian organization, the American Family Association always seeks to be honest, accurate and completely forthright in the information we pass along to our supporters,” the AFA said. “We expect corporations in this country, especially those that position themselves as ‘family friendly’ businesses, to do the same.”

“It is in that spirit the AFA wishes to respond to the e-mail McDonald’s USA has been sending out,” it said.

The restaurant corporation had told interested consumers it treats “all our employees and customers with dignity and respect regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or any other differentiating factor.”

“We are not telling McDonald’s who they can hire to work for the company, nor are we demanding that they stop serving Big Macs to homosexual customers,” the AFA said. “This issue is about the world’s largest fast food chain allying itself and partnering with an organization that lobbies Congress to enact laws that we feel can be used to repress religious freedom or undermine the sanctity of marriage.”

McDonald’s noted, “While one McDonald’s employee is affiliated with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), McDonald’s is in no way ‘aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda’ as suggested in the newsletter.”

But the AFA said, “To refer to Richard Ellis, who is the vice president of communications for McDonald’s, as ‘one McDonald’s employee,’ as if he is a teenager flipping hamburgers, is disingenuous at best. While ‘aggressively’ is admittedly a subjective term, AFA believes that giving money to and partnering with a homosexual lobby organization is certainly an enthusiastic promotion of the homosexual agenda.”

To McDonald’s statement that there are “numerous other Fortune 500 companies that serve as corporate partners with NGLCC,” AFA responded: “AFA rejects this ‘everybody’s doing it’ excuse …. and is asking the fast food company to remain neutral in these controversial skirmishes of the culture war.”

And to McDonald’s claim comments attributed to Jim Skinner are fabrications, the AFA said the comments definitely were Skinner’s, because they were a direct quote from the company’s own website.

Our Action Alert assumed that Mr. Skinner’s comments were specifically addressing the promotion of the gay agenda, when they were not. We apologize for any confusion this has created,” the group said.

Earlier, officials with the special interest lobby expressed their pleasure at the addition of McDonald’s.

“We could not be more delighted with the addition of Richard to the Board,” said NGLCC co-founder Justin Nelson. “Richard brings his extensive experience in communications and public affairs to a dynamic team of leaders.”

Said Ellis: “I’m thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work. I share the NGLCC’s passion for business growth and development within the LGBT community and I look forward to playing a role in moving these important initiatives forward.”

McDonald’s officials declined to return a WND call seeking a comment on the placement of its executive on the “gay” advocacy organization, but did send a subsequent e-mail confirming the corporation’s support for the agenda of the homosexual business lobby.

“McDonald’s is indeed a Corporate Partner and Organizational Ally of NGLCC. Our vice president of U.S. communications, Richard Ellis, was recently elected to its board of directors,” said the brief statement from Heidi M. Barker, senior director of media relations, to WND.

A spokeswoman for NGLCC refused to speak with WND except on “background” when asked about McDonald’s financial contribution to the group. But she did confirm the organization would not release information on its sponsors.

The McDonald’s logo is featured on the website of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, among other well-known companies

WND reported earlier when Wal-Mart joined the NGLCC, and how the corporation’s income later started declining as Christian organizations reacted to the news.

CNN reported that Wal-Mart officials later decided to pursue a lower level of homosexual promotions.

“We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to LGBT groups,” Mona Williams, the company’s senior vice president of corporate communications, told CNN only months after the issues arose.

The chamber group describes itself as promoting the LGBT community first and always.

Under a “What we do” page is listed a variety of goals, including “disseminate news and information central to the success of LGBT businesses, … ensure increased opportunity and equality for LGBT professionals, … help LBGT businesses gain more procurement opportunities, …. provide strong lobbying efforts for LBGT business causes.”

And it gives credit to sponsors such as McDonald’s for its financial and other support for helping in its work.

“Through the commitment of our corporate partners, the NGLCC has been able to advance the ideas and causes of the LGBT business community,” the chamber said at the top of its list of sponsors.

McDonald’s describes itself as “socially responsible.”

Remarks on its website attributed to “Jim,” McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner, include, “Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world … and we do.”

It also boasts: “McDonald’s is the world’s community restaurant. We are proud of our long-standing commitment to a workforce that is diverse. We believe in developing and maintaining a diverse workforce that will strengthen the McDonald’s system. Diversity at McDonald’s is understanding, recognizing and valuing the differences that make each person unique.”


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