Tim Wildmon
Hate Group Leader Tim Wildmon – American Family Association

Image: YouTube

American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group, is haunted by the fact that Walmart used a gay couple for a Facebook video ad. AFA’s preoccupation with with what amounts to the simple fact that gay couples exist, attempts to influence an increasingly resistant corporate culture. But AFA’s existence is dependent upon public bigotry.

Another email Tuesday is titled: Three reasons to sign the Walmart petition:

I know you get a lot of email and may have missed our recent AFA Action Alert about Walmart’s video campaign on Facebook promoting two homosexuals on a “date” in their local Walmart store.

The scare quotes around the word date demonstrate that hate group leader Tim Wildmon simply cannot cope with the fact that there are normal gay people who do normal, everyday things. It is understandable given the fact that Wildmon is the son of notoriously homophobic (and anti-Semitic) Don Wildmon, the founder of the hate group.

A plan:

AFA will hand deliver our petition to Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon on March 20. Your voice counts! Add your signature now!

Walmart HQ is in Bentonville, Arkansas. Some poor schmuck who works for AFA will travel the 450 miles (from Tupelo) and hand an envelope to someone at a security desk. There seems to be a low probability that McMillon will deal personally with one of AFA’s rubes.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is a born-again Christian but in 2015 McMillon issued a statement urging Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the state’s “religious freedom” bill. According to McMillon at the time, the bill “threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold.”

Three reasons:

The ellipses are in the original text:

Three reasons to sign…Posting video, Promoting homosexuality, Praising pro-gay comments…

So far, Walmart has ignored requests on their Facebook page to remove the video. It’s as if they aren’t listening. However, Walmart is not ignoring the comments of homosexual activists. Take a look at Walmart’s response to these posts to their Facebook page:

AFA captures Facebook comments in the email. It is  proof that anyone who expresses anything other than condemnation for gay people is a “homosexual activist” according to AFA.

Walmart knows how to get the most from a Facebook campaign. That includes assigning a staffer to respond to comments. What does AFA expect? “Thanks for the compliment but keep in mind that these are two perverts who are Satan’s helpers.”

Pure Don Wildmon:

It’s clear that Walmart is on the path of elevating homosexual relationships to the same level as the male-female model of marriage. Walmart’s shift away from neutrality on this controversial issue to full support for same-sex relationships is something Sam Walton would never have condoned.

Create a controversy where none exist and then claim to expect neutrality. How much cognition is required to realize that gay people are not controversial? This is AFA’s second attempt to impose their craziness on Walmart. In 2006, AFA was outraged when Walmart paid $25,000 to become a member of the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and donated $60,000 to Out and Equal.

In a carefully worded statement (predating Doug McMillon’s appointment as CEO) Walmart said that they would continue to promote diversity and nondiscrimination. The statement included “Walmart will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers.”

Walmart also said it would make changes in the way it makes contributions to special interest groups, saving funds only for specific causes it supported, such as workplace equality, rather than giving unrestricted gifts.

This allowed AFA to withdraw a Thanksgiving boycott claiming victory when, in reality, they achieved nothing. Thirteen years later it would seem that Walmart does not consider gay couples controversial. (Who does?)

As for Sam Walton, he has been dead for 27 years. Walton, good Christian that he was, kept Walmart associates (about 40% of the company’s workforce) in poverty as he became one of the wealthiest people in America. McMillon, by the way, has improved things like maternity and parental leave benefits. Walmart recently announced a minimum wage increase to $11/hour.

Mr. McMillon’s job is to maximize profits over the long term. It is something that the yokels at AFA will never fully comprehend. AFA is running out of causes with any potential for success. For example, Target’s trans accommodation policies never changed. Tim Wildmon doesn’t grasp the simple fact that Americans are less prejudiced towards LGBT people as they have become more knowledgeable. Perhaps he does realize and it scares the crap out of him.

Walmart poses a direct threat to American Family Association. It is harder for people to be bigoted when they come to terms with the fact that gay couples really aren’t much different from straight couples. AFA is fueled by bigotry. Money flows through bigotry. In order to continue to exist, AFA needs to promote intolerance and that has become increasingly difficult. If nothing else, prejudice is bad for business.

Tim Wildmon is not a very intelligent person and he has been unable to adapt to changing American values. He wants to turn the clock back which is a very difficult task. Ironically, AFA has probably created positive attention to Walmart. Given the overwhelming support for things like marriage equality, potential customers overwhelmingly outnumber AFA’s backward supporters.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.