Another interesting press release from the inbox (portion re: Wells Fargo highlighted in dark red)…
MICROSOFT SWIFTLY REMOVES ONLINE STORE FROM â€śCHRISTIAN VALUES NETWORKâ€ť AFTER CHANGE.ORG PETITION REVEALS CONNECTION TO ANTI-GAY GROUPS
New petition asks Apple to follow Microsoftâ€™s lead in reaction to Stuart Wilberâ€™s petition asking software company to stop funding — through CVN — anti-gay hate groups like â€śFocus on the Familyâ€ť
SEATTLE, WA â€“ In a matter of hours, Microsoft decided on Thursday to remove its online store from the â€śChristian Values Networkâ€ť after more than 500 people signed Stuart Wilberâ€™s Change.org petition asking the software company to stop allowing the funding of anti-gay â€śhate groupsâ€ť identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
â€śMicrosoft’s swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,â€ť said Wilber, a Microsoft customer and resident of Seattle. â€śMicrosoft has a long tradition of being supportive of our community. I assumed they would be just as upset as I was that their brand was being used by anti-gay hate groups to raise money. Iâ€™m glad I was right.â€ť
Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan helped launch the Christian Values Network, an online service that raises money for various religious groups from the purchase of goods and services. More than 600 companies are listed at www.cvn.org, the Christian Value Networkâ€™s domain that hosts links to various corporate online stores. Among the groups using the Christian Values Network to raise money are Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Summit Ministries, Abiding Truth Ministries, and the Liberty Counsel. Each organization has been identified as an anti-gay â€śhate groupâ€ť according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Dozens of major companies like Netflix, Target, Best Buy, REI, Delta, and even Sesame Street participate in CVNâ€™s service. When customers make purchases through CVN, a donation is made to the charity of the customerâ€™s choice. For example, Wells Fargo gives up to $300 per loan made through CVN and 2.5% of the purchase price for products bought through Apple iTunes store can be donated to groups like â€śFocus on the Family.â€ť
â€śI wonder if Apple is even aware they are being used to raise money for these homophobic groups,â€ť said Ben Crowther, a Washington State University Student who started a new petition on Change.org asking Apple to remove their store from the Christian Values Network. â€śIt is so out of character for Apple to be associated with groups like Focus on the Family. I hope Apple acts quickly to remove their store from the Christian Values Network.â€ť
â€śNo respectful company or organization should do business with CVN as long as it helps fund these anti-gay organizations,â€ť said Wilber. â€śFocus on the Family and other groups like it knowingly spread lies with deadly consequences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.â€ť
Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohanâ€™s father, worked together to help launch the Christian Values Network. Both Baldwin and Lohan are outspoken about their anti-gay views. Stephen Baldwin told the Guardian in 2010 that he supports so called â€śex-gayâ€ť therapy, a harmful practice that falsely claims to â€ścureâ€ť people of their sexual orientation.
Michael Lohan told reporters in 2008 he would not walk his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, down the aisle if she chose to marry her same-sex partner, â€śI donâ€™t think sheâ€™d ask me to walk her down the aisle,â€ť says Michael. â€śShe knows about my (Christian) faith â€¦ Â she just wouldnâ€™t ask.â€ť
Former Governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is a Christian Values Network advisor and spokesperson. In the past, Huckabee has equated being gay with bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia.
Microsoft is a leader in the corporate world for their internal and external policies to both protect their LGBT employees, and to advocate for better laws to protect all LGBT people under the law. Recently, Microsoft publicly endorsed the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a law that would allow gays and lesbians to sponsor their loved ones for American citizenship, just like married heterosexual couples. During Washington’s Referendum 71 campaign, Microsoft contributed $100,000 to help protect the right of lesbian and gay families to a domestic partnership.
View Stuart Wilberâ€™s petition asking Microsoft to remove their store from the Christian Values Network:
View Ben Crowtherâ€™s petition asking Apple to remove their store from the Christian Values Network (with live signature totals):
Change.org is the worldâ€™s fastest-growing platform for social change â€” growing by more than 300,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.