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Activists call on
Ford to come clean

Activists call on
Ford to come clean

After the automaker pulled its ads in the gay media under pressure from an antigay group, national advocates call on Ford to reaffirm its support of lesbians and gay men

Even though Ford Motor Co. pulled much of its advertising from gay publications only about a week after the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association canceled a proposed boycott, the nation's second largest automaker denied it made the decision under pressure from the antigay Christian group. But that was not enough for a group of national gay rights organizations, which issued a joint statement calling on Ford to come clean about what happened.

"We are deeply dismayed by reports in the media and otherwise that the Ford Motor Co. has entered into a confidential agreement with the extremist American Family Association that requires Ford to stop advertising in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender media," the statement, issued by 17 of the nation's biggest gay rights groups, said. "If there is an agreement with AFA, we expect Ford to disavow it. We expect Ford to publicly reaffirm its historic support for our community. And we expect Ford to meet with LGBT representatives this week to resolve these concerns."

Meanwhile, the AFA was claiming victory over the carmaker, whose brands have appeared in The Advocate, among other LGBT magazines, and whose corporate donations have included a number of gay rights causes. "We are ending the boycott of Ford," AFA chairman Donald Wildmon said on the group's Web site. "While we still have a few differences with Ford, we feel that our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future."

Ford has stated that its pulling of the ads was motivated by a budget crunch and had nothing to do with the AFA's threatened boycott. It said it would continue to advertise its Volvo car brand in the gay media. (Advocate.com)

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