By Winston Gieseke
Originally published on Advocate.com July 15 2011 4:25 PM ET
Hours after being named in a petition on Change.org, software giant Microsoft removed their online store from a referral service that funds alleged hate groups.
Started by Seattle resident Stuart Wilber, the petition claims that dozens of LGBT-friendly companies — including Apple, Dell, and Netflix — are unknowingly supporting alleged hate groups through the Christian Values Network (CVN), a link referral service that donates money to more than 170,000 charities.
WinRumors.com reports that "Customers can choose to purchase Apple hardware or a Netflix subscription through the service and Apple or Netflix would make a donation to the charity of the customer’s choice through CVN."
But according to Wilber, The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared several of the associated charities — like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Summit Ministries, Abiding Truth Ministries, and Liberty Counsel — to be known “hate groups,” for their “blatant and repeated homophobic lies about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.”
More than 500 people signed the petition in less than a day, prompting Microsoft to remove itself from the program.
Wilber was pleased with the company’s prompt response. “Microsoft's swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” he said. “Microsoft 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 antigay hate groups to raise money. I’m glad I was right.”
A similar petition asking Apple to sever ties with CVN was started by fellow Seattleite Ben Crowther.
Read the full story here.