This is a very late response to a letter written on June 23, 2006.

The board of the Greater Texas Ford Dealers Advertising Fund which represents 78 Ford Dealers in North Texas has sent a letter to Ford Motor Company expressing sympathy with the virulently anti-gay American Family Association and requesting that Ford no longer advertise with “controversial media”, in particular “homosexual related media and events”.

The language of the letter is overflowing with homophobia and bigotry and includes such language as

gay lifestyle
gay polygamy
assault on their values
offend or alienate the masses in order to placate a minority
offensive photos of the gay lifestyle
controversial lifestyle

This is contrasted with language describing the AFA activists

mainstream customers
broad spectrum
mutual customers
not religious fanatics
average citizens concerned for the well-being of their families
our customers
all-American image

It is quite clear that the Ford dealers in North Texas go beyond an appeal to profitable practices but instead have issued a declaration that they are the enemy of the gay consumer. I don’t live in Texas, but if I did I think that I would make a point of traveling to another state just to buy a Ford vehicle. In this way, I could support Ford Motor Company for their principled stance while refusing any profit to those who seek the exclusion of gay consumers from the marketplace.

I encourage all readers that when you next go to buy a vehicle from any dealer, you inquire as to their opinions on marketing to gay customers and make your vendor selection accordingly. You may also want to inquire if the dealer has gay employees or a non-discrimination policy. I recognize that it is impractical to do this with every day-to-day purchase, but buying a vehicle is significant and infrequent. It is important, especially in less urban areas, that vendors recognize that gay people are everyone and everywhere and that homophobic or bigoted attitudes effect our willingness to purchase.

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