Press

Task Force Commends Ford Motor Company

Date: 
December 14, 2005

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Commends Ford Motor Company

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Hails ‘reaffirmation of commitment to our community and American values’

Ford Motor Company released a letter today reaffirming its support for the LGBT community

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 — In a statement released today, Ford reaffirmed its commitment to its progressive workplace policies, said it would place corporate advertising in LGBT publications on behalf of all of its brands, including Jaguar and Land Rover, and would continue financial support for LGBT organizations and events consistent with its business condition. In response, a broad coalition of LGBT organizations issued a statement commending Ford for its actions (the statement appears below). Visit www.media.ford.com to read Ford's statement or click here to download a pdf of the letter.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"We applaud Ford Motor for taking such a firm stand on behalf of our community — pledging to continue support for our community’s organizations and events, and increasing — not decreasing — its advertising in our community’s publications to include all Ford brands. This is a very positive, welcome outcome."

Coalition Statement

"We welcome today's statement from Ford Motor Company and commend their firm stance in support of inclusion. It is an unequivocal reaffirmation of Ford’s historic commitment to our community and the core American values of fairness and equality. Moreover, it is conclusive proof of what Ford leaders have repeatedly assured us — that there never was any deal with anti-LGBT organizations concerning Ford’s support for our community.

We are proud to be back in gear with Ford and look forward to working with them in the years ahead."

Signatories

AMERICAblog.com
Commercial Closet Association
Equality Project Investor Advocates
Family Pride
Freedom to Marry
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Human Rights Campaign
Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (NYC)
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Stonewall Democrats
National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC)
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Pride at Work
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Triangle Foundation
World Congress of GLBT Jews: Keshet Ga'ava

Background

The controversy erupted on Dec. 1, 2005, when the American Family Association (AFA) officially announced it was dropping its threat of a boycott, saying Ford “heard our concerns; they are acting on our concerns. We are pleased with where we are.” The next day, a Ford spokesperson appeared to confirm an agreement by saying the company would stop advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications. AFA is an extremist anti-LGBT organization that routinely threatens boycotts against LGBT-supportive companies, television programs it does not like, and even cartoon characters such as SpongeBob.

On Dec. 5, 18 leading LGBT organizations issued a statement calling upon Ford to disavow any agreement with AFA, to reaffirm its commitment to the LGBT community and to meet with the LGBT community and resolve the issue. As a result of that statement, Ford Motor executives met with LGBT community representatives, including Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman, in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12. There, Ford said it would issue a statement based on the topics discussed, and the comprehensive statement released today was the result.

The Task Force was a leader in organizing the coalition of groups meeting to respond and to resolve the controversy.

To thank Ford for its actions, write to:

Joe W. Laymon
Group Vice President
Corporate Human Resources
Ford Motor Company
One American Road
Dearborn, MI 48126-2798
Or e-mail Ford.

To view the Task Force's letter of thanks to Ford, click here.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.