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Category Archives: Corporate Ethics

"The post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline"

In a brilliant piece by Mollie Hemingway at The Federalistshe draws upon the thinking of Czech leader Vaclav Havel (who once observed that "the post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline") to comment upon the recent dust-up at Mozilla over Brendan Eich's views on marriage.

Hemingway's piece is entitled "The Rise of the Same-sex Marriage Dissidents," and you should read the entire thing today. Here's a snippet:

Havel-FirefoxTo explain how dissent works, Havel introduced the manager of a hypothetical fruit-and-vegetable shop who places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” He’s not actually enthusiastic about the sign’s message. It’s just one of the things that people in a post-totalitarian system do even if they “never think about” what it means. He does it because everyone does it. It’s what you do to get along in life and live “in harmony with society.” (For our purposes, you can imagine that slogan is a red equal sign that you put up on your Facebook page.)

[...]

Did we mindlessly put up red equal signs when we hadn’t even thought about what marriage is? Did we rush to fit in by telling others we supported same-sex marriage? Did we even go so far as to characterize as “bigots” or as “Hitlers” those who held views about the importance of natural marriage?

[...]

In the greengrocer scenario, Havel notes that if the text of the sign read “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he might be embarrassed and ashamed to put it up. The dissidents are the ones who, by refusing to put the sign up, or refusing to recant, shine a huge light on the system, including the ones who go along to get along. All of a sudden those Facebook signs, those reflexive statements, those cries of “Bigot!” look less like shows of strength and more like shows of weakness.

If you haven't yet followed NOM's call-to-action over the Eich controversy, please take some time to do so today.

"Dumb Starbucks"? Couldn't Have Said It Better Ourselves

A new coffee shop in California is creating quite a buzz using some novel branding. Behold, Dumb Starbucks.


We did a bit of a double-take when we saw the first reports about the new cafe because of the close rhyme of its name with our own Dump Starbucks campaign.

Dump StarbucksWhile it probably isn't what the founders of the new shop had in mind, we think it's fair to call a company dumb when it suggests that anyone who doesn't agree with its radical agenda to support redefining marriage should take their business across the street.

That is why, after all, we have maintained our call for all marriage supporters worldwide to do just that: Dump Starbucks for its corporate intolerance toward those who hold the basic and common sense belief in marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to instead buy their coffee elsewhere. Maybe those marriage supporters in California will want to give Dumb Starbucks a try instead? Send us your pics if you do!

Crisis Magazine - The Persecution of Christians

ChristianityIn the aptly named Crisis Magazine, Stephen Beale has begun to chronicle the persecution of Christians as they take public stands through their businesses against the redefinition of marriage.  NOM has chronicled many of these for you, but the article is a timely reminder of the growing threat to our free exercise of religion as marriage is redefined.  Beale quotes, Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of The Thomas Moore Law Center:

These cases represent a new battlefield in the clash between the freedoms of Christians and the “radical homosexual agenda”…Despite their relatively small numbers, radical homosexuals wield enormous power. They dominate our cultural elite, Hollywood, television, the mainstream news media, public schools, academia, and a significant portion of the judiciary…As a result of their power, homosexual activists are able to intimidate and silence opposition.

Read more here.

Eviscerating our First Amendment Freedoms

"It's an evisceration of our freedom of association," said John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage...

We’ve been saying for years that one of the first casualties when you redefine marriage are our first amendment rights of religious liberty, free speech, and association.  Now even the mainstream media has picked up on the growing list of attacks on the rights of businessmen and woman who wish to run their enterprises by the tenets of their faith.  The Wall Street Journal reported,

Erasing the First Amendment

As more states permit gay couples to marry or form civil unions, wedding professionals in at least six states have run headlong into state antidiscrimination laws after refusing for religious reasons to bake cakes, arrange flowers or perform other services for same-sex couples.

The issue gained attention in August, when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an Albuquerque photography business violated state antidiscrimination laws after its owners declined to snap photos of a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony.

Similar cases are pending in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Washington, and some experts think the underlying legal question—whether free-speech and religious rights should allow exceptions to state antidiscrimination laws—could ultimately wind its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Read more)

However, there is a easier way to resolve this issue than going to the US Supreme Court – Don’t Redefine Marriage in the first place.

Grappling With the Arguments

Oregon PolitiChick State Director Maggie Wilson-Mars writes at the PolitiChicks blog about "The Very Real Slippery Slope of Gay Marriage." Wilson-Mars is a Mormon woman and a conservative with a homosexual son with whom she often argues about same-sex marriage - with him arguing against it, and her in favor.

Throughout her piece she is dismissive of many of the arguments in favor of traditional marriage that we here at NOM know are based in greater logic and evidence that she seems willing to credit them. Nonetheless, despite her reasoning and convictions in these matters, she wrote her article to admit that there's one argument that can't be so easily dismissed -- even though, ironically, it's the one most frequently waved off in our society: namely, the so-called "slippery slope." She writes:

Sweet CakesHere in Oregon, a bakery refused to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding. They will sell to anyone, but draw the line at providing wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. The community was outraged. Portland/Gresham is a liberal, pro-gay town and they weren’t having it. It caused such a ruckus that the Oregon Attorney General opened an investigation. [...]

A few days ago, the Oregon bakery ... decided to operate from home. The emails, messages, phone calls and threats are so bad they can’t take it. Remember, they’re still the focus of an investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries into possible violation of the states discrimination laws. There’s no reassurance for churches, etc. if businesses are already being forced to participate in ceremonies that they are morally opposed to or face fines, attacks and shutdown. Just in my own personal life, I know many conservatives who have no problem with gay marriage itself, it’s just that supposedly non-existent slippery slope that rears that its ugly head time and time again. I can’t help but look into the future when I see things like bakeries getting investigated and terrorized.

Of course, just like we here at NOM have more evidence and reasons to support the arguments Mrs. Wilson-Mars rejects, we (sadly) have more proof of this danger that follows in the wake of marriage redefinition as well.

Voting With Our Wallets

Did you know that Starbucks was recently reported to be perceived as the most LGBT-friendly brand in the U.S.? JCPenney, Target, Apple and Amazon round out the top five.

If you've been following the national marriage battle over the past 18 months this should come as no surprise. Starbucks has said that gay ‘marriage’ is one of its corporate values. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently purchased the Washington Post, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to redefine marriage in Washington State. Target and JC Penny both support gay ‘marriage’ and the homosexual lifestyle in general, as does Apple.

In the same survey, it was reported that 75% of LGBT respondents said they were actively boycotting Chick-fil-A.

We only vote at a ballot box once a year at most. But we vote with our wallets every day. That’s why NOM maintains its Corporate Fairness Project - which includes the Dump Starbucks, Dump General Mills, and Thank Chick-fil-A initiatives – to inform you of what companies are taking active stands in the marriage battle, and where your money is best spent in defense of this sacred institution.

Dump Starbucks

Oregon Bakery Owners' Decision Aligned with State Constitution

Before the owners of "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" were forced to close their very successful Oregon bakery, voters in their state had approved a referendum to define marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman. In other words, same-sex unions were not even legally recognized in Oregon.

Why then would Aaron and Melissa Klein be harassed to the point of closing their business just for declining to support a ceremony that was technically illegal in their state anyway? NewsBusters has more:

Sweet CakesFollowing a voter-approved referendum in 2004, Oregon's constitution (Article XV, Section 5A) has stated that "... only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage."

For some reason, that doesn't seem to matter in the "Sweet Cakes" controversy over Aaron and Melissa Klein's refusal earlier this year to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple's (not legally recognized) "marriage." The turned-down couple has filed a civil-rights complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Department of Labor and Industry. In the meantime, the Kleins, who have experienced ongoing harassment and threats against anyone and everyone who might refer business to them, have closed their storefront business and are operating it out of their home. Aaron has taken employment elsewhere.

No press coverage that I have seen has raised the seemingly valid issue of how the Kleins can be forced to do something in support of a ceremony, i.e., same-sex "marriage," which is not legally sanctioned and could construed to be an illegal act.

It seems like a stretch to assert that the 2007 law trumps the language hard-wired into the state's constitution and forces the Kleins to support something the state doesn't formally recognize.

Christians Need Not Apply

Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, writes on the growing bias against people of faith in the public square:

If you don’t actually remember it, you’re certainly aware of the Cold War the United States was involved in with the USSR for forty-four years.  We were fighting, but everyone was being passive aggressive about it.

Cross NecklaceSomething similar has been happening culturally in the war on religious freedom.  For years the war has been undeclared and the damage to religious freedom has generally been classified as friendly fire. “I wasn’t shooting at you, I was trying to shoot hate and intolerance; so sorry about that.”

The victims have been numerous. ...around the country bakeries, doctors, counselors, court clerks, and wedding photographers have been victims of the war on intolerance; specifically because of their beliefs about sexuality and marriage.

All along the way, those tightening the noose around the neck of religious freedom have claimed to be allies all along.

That’s changing.  Now that they feel they have the upper hand, they no longer feel the need to be tolerant.

The City of San Antonio is making a move that would allow the city council to exclude from public office anyone who has “bias” that they don’t like. Here is the resolution:

“No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.” 

That’s right, folks.  If you are a person who has “demonstrated a bias, by word or deed” against people based on things such as religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, you are unfit for public office.

Finish reading this article by FPIW director  here.

Oregon Official Says Bakers Who Support Traditional Marriage Need 'Rehabilitation'

Despite the fact that Oregon bakers saw a huge boom in business after standing up for their belief in marriage (proving that many other Oregonians feel the same way), Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian says the state government's goal is to "rehabilitate" them:

A lesbian couple filed a formal complaint against “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” in Portland after the owners – Aaron and Melissa Klein – declined on the basis of their Christian faith to provide services for a lesbian “wedding.”

Sweet Cakes Owner

The Oregonian quotes Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian as saying: "The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate."

“To say that this couple needs to be ‘rehabilitated’ for believing and practicing the values on which this nation was founded is entirely beyond the pale,” says [Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association].

“This sounds like Stalinist Russia or China under Mao, where those who thought for themselves were forced under government coercion into re-education camps. This is not the America that was given to us by our Founders.”

Matt Barber [vice president of Liberty Counsel Action] says the “rehabilitation” remark connotes some kind of ailment, mental illness or physical ailment. “You know, we rehabilitate criminals,” he explains. “Are they saying that Christianity is criminal here and we have to rehabilitate those who embrace the Christian sexual ethic? That's what this official in Oregon is saying.”

Wildmon wonders what might follow if the bakery owners refuse to be “rehabilitated.” -One News Now

After Being Fired for His Beliefs, Frank Turek Helps Other Marriage Supporters in Similar Positions

Remember Dr. Frank Turek? Dr. Turek is an award-winning author and leadership consultant who was abruptly fired from both Bank of America and Cisco Systems in 2011 after someone Googled his name and discovered that he had written a book entitled Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.

Keep in mind, Dr. Turek's political and religious views were never expressed or even mentioned during his work with either company! (Hear more of Dr. Turek's story in his own words on our Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance website.)

Now, he's helping to equip others who may find themselves in the same position:

Frank Turek's StoryFrank Turek is equipping Christians to look at moral issues confronting America and how to respond successfully from a Christian worldview at the 2013 20th Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, “Reasons for the Hope,” presented by Southern Evangelical Seminary and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. The conference is set for Oct. 11-12 at First Baptist Church Indian Trail near Charlotte, N.C.

In light of all that has taken place on the marriage front this summer, Turek’s story is of interest to many. How he handled himself in this setting, as you will see, is a perfect example of Christian apologetics in action.

Turek went about his job as a leadership consultant at Cisco Systems with commitment and passion. In fact, he got such high marks for a yearlong program he conducted in 2008 that he was asked back in 2010.

Another 10 sessions of leadership and team-building programming were scheduled, and Turek and his students were through the seventh session when a manager for Cisco who was enrolled in the class issued a complaint against Turek. And because of that complaint, the relationship between Cisco and Turek was terminated.

The student phoning in the complaint had never read the book but Googled Turek after class. In his complaint, the manager said that although Turek never discussed his views in class, his beliefs were inconsistent with Cisco’s tolerance policies and couldn’t be ... tolerated.

The manager then contacted an experienced human resources professional at Cisco who had Turek fired that day without ever speaking to him. The HR professional also commended the manager for “outing” Turek.

MADADo you have similar story? If you've been threatened, harassed, or made to feel afraid because you believe marriage is the union of husband and wife, you're not alone. And the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is here to help. Share your story.

(All communications with MarriageADA will be kept strictly confidential. You may share your story anonymously. Help us create an America in which no decent, loving, law-abiding citizen feels afraid to speak up for marriage!)

Why Exactly is Betty Crocker Weighing in on Marriage Anyway?

General Mills is pushing its marriage redefinition agenda even further, this time using a fictional character to assist. General Mills' culinary "spokeswoman" Betty Crocker decided to take time away from her baking to weigh in on the marriage debate in Minnesota:

Betty Crocker

If you haven't made the Dump General Mills pledge, please take two minutes to join the 26,000 others who have already done so!

Forbes: No Evidence that Gay Marriage is Good for Business

Jerry Bowyer for Forbes:

Sometimes you just know that you are being subjected to a hard sell. Someone pushes a product at you and they just start rattling off alleged benefits, hoping that one will hit the right button and trigger your impulse to buy. You’ll look younger…cures baldness…lose weight…save money…girls love it….just buy it, will ya? That’s what the recent rash of ‘gay-marriage-is-good-for-business’ announcements is beginning to sound like. Microsoft was the big boy who got this started, pouring millions of dollars into pro-gay marriage initiatives, warning Washington State that a ban on gay marriage would be bad for business because it would hurt with the recruitment of talent.

Economy

...Recently, the former CEO of BP, Lord Browne, called for Britain to embrace homosexual marriage because he says it is good for business. He says that countries which change the definition of marriage to include homosexual relations will have an advantage over those which keep the historic definition.

But no evidence has been presented to justify this point.

...But what if it turns out that people really do decide where to live and work based on sexual identity politics? Then there is no particular reason to assume that this cuts in favor of the homosexual side. Homosexuals, after all, are a small percentage of the population: 2-3% by most serious estimates. On the other hand, when one adds up Mormons, evangelicals, traditional Roman Catholics and Orthodox Jews, that’s roughly half of the population. Aren’t they talented, too?

One man’s culture of ‘marriage equality’ (to use an advocate’s buzz phrase) is another man’s rejection of the Bible and millennia of human tradition. I can tell you that Christians and Orthodox Jews are expressing very grave concerns about the tone of anger directed at them in this current climate. Maybe business leaders need to start thinking about how to attract their talents, too.

VICTORY: Chick-Fil-A Sales Up $500 Million as 96 New Locations Open

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our Chick-Fil-A Appreciation program! Your efforts help demonstrate to Americans of good will that pro-marriage business owners have a right to their beliefs and we have a right to support them!

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s controversial comments on “biblical” marriage last summer and the uproar that followed didn’t dampen the Atlanta company’s annual sales.

The fast food giant, the nation’s second-largest chicken chain, ended 2012 with $4.6 billion in sales — up 14 percent from $4.1 billion a year earlier. The company also opened 96 news stores, four more than the year before.

The company does not have to publicize financial results because it is privately owned. It made revenue and store growth figures available at the request of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Supporters of Cathy’s views against gay marriage and his right to express them hailed the numbers as a victory, saying a summer boycott of the chain by backers of gay marriage failed. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Victory For Christian Demoted Over Gay Marriage Comments

The UK Christian Institute:

A judge has today ruled that bosses at a housing trust were wrong to demote a manager who said gay weddings in churches would be “an equality too far”.

Adrian Smith, a Christian, made the remark on his personal Facebook page, which was not visible to the general public, outside work time.

But bosses at Trafford Housing Trust, near Manchester, took action against Mr Smith saying the comments amounted to ‘gross misconduct’ and could bring the Trust into disrepute.

Mr Smith went to court with the financial backing of The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund, which exists to protect the civil liberty of Christians.

It emerged in evidence that the Trust was worried it could lose a gay rights charter award unless it took action against Mr Smith.

But today the judge, Mr Justice Briggs, said the Trust had no right to demote Mr Smith over his Facebook comments, and ruled that the Trust had breached the terms of his contract.

Mr Smith says he is delighted to have won the case, but he is worried others may be in the firing line if the Government pushes ahead with its plans to redefine marriage.

He said: “I have won today. But what will tomorrow bring? I am fearful that, if marriage is redefined, there will be more cases like mine – and if the law of marriage changes people like me may not win in court.

“Does the Prime Minister want to create a society where people like me, people who believe in traditional marriage, are treated as outcasts? That may not be his intention, but that’s what will happen.

150 Medical Professionals Urge Minnesotans to VOTE YES On Amendment 1

Another outpouring of support for the Marriage Protection Amendment in Minnesota:

Today, 150 medical professionals—the vast majority of whom are medical doctors—urged Minnesotans to VOTE YES on Amendment 1, the Marriage Protection Amendment because the state has a vital interest in supporting the best environment for the creation and care of children: a married mother and father. The medical professionals pointed to decades of social science research that shows children do best when reared by their two biological parents.

Their statement reads, “Children develop best when raised within marriage in a secure and recognized relationship to their mother and fathers. No child should ever be intentionally deprived of a mother or father without just cause. Public institutions best promote the welfare of children by affirming that marriage is a unique relationship of one man and one woman, and that marriage, as traditionally understood, is the optimal family setting for raising children.” -- Minnesota For Marriage