December 15, 2005

Hats off to Ford

(from DailyKos)

Reversing their craven cave-in to rabidly anti-gay group American Family Association, Ford has pledged to do the following:
  • "[To c]ontinue to support gay organizations and gay events in the coming year and beyond.

  • [T]o run advertisements in the gay media NOT ONLY promoting the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, but the ads will promote ALL of Fords brands, by name, including Jaguar and Land Rover.

  • states unequivocally that it will continue to tailor its ads for the specific audience it is trying to reach, and then goes one step further. Ford challenges us to keep an eye out on their upcoming ads in order to verify that they will in fact be tailored."
As DailyKos points out, this is much bigger than just getting Ford to put ads in The Advocate; this sends a clear message that companies face far greater fire by caving to nutjob outfits like the AFA than they do from any threatened boycotts.

I'm incredibly gladdened by this news. I think Ford's decision represents a huge shift from seeing the gay community as a tiny and powerless minority that can be trampled on with impunity to being a solid part of the American fabric and one that many people are unwilling to see so viciously set apart and excluded from the American community. This is not about the gay community triumphing over the evangelical community or something, though this will likely be used as evidence that "the gays have themselves an agenda." What this is is the sign that one interest group can't get away with bullying a minority they don't like through the market.

I think a lot of America's ideals about equality are driven by economic thinking and principles—the principle of home ownership and the (fictitious) ownership society, for instance. That Ford feels America is now including gays in those economic principles of equality means that an important step has been taken in establishing other, more important forms of equality.

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