Fact Check

Wal-Mart Supports Gays

Has Wal-Mart partnered with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce?

Published Sept. 11, 2006


Claim:   Wal-Mart has partnered with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Status:   Was true in 2006, but is no longer the case.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]

Wal-Mart asks for, and receives, permission to join homosexual marriage group

Read "Wal-Mart Partners With Gay and Lesbian Group"

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has asked for and received permission to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The NGLCC is a leading promoter of homosexual marriage.

Although Wal-Mart has never excluded homosexuals from being employees, customers, or suppliers, the company wanted to be more closely identified with promoting the homosexual agenda. Wal-Mart is now a "corporate member" of the NGLCC, putting their approval on the NGLCC's efforts to abolish the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A Wal-Mart vice president will serve as an advisor to the NGLCC, helping them promote
homosexual marriage.

Wal-Mart agreed to give $25,000 to the NGLCC and to pay for two conferences scheduled by NGLCC. Also, Wal-Mart will give homosexual-owned businesses special treatment when making purchases. Companies not owned by homosexuals will be moved down the list.

NGLCC called Wal-Mart's action "part of the company's ongoing commitment to advancing diversity (homosexuality) among all of its associate, supplier and customer bases."

Wal-Mart is offering the same kind of support for homosexual marriage which Ford Motor Company has been giving to homosexual groups for years.


1. Send your email to Wal-Mart.

2. Wal-Mart often blocks our emails. To make sure your voice is heard, please call Wal-Mart's home office headquarters and ask for Chairman Rob Walton at 479-273-4000. Also, call your local Wal-Mart manager and express your concerns. Please, be polite when you call!

3. Print out and distribute our specially produced Pass Along Sheet.

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Origins:   In August 2006, mega-retailer Wal-Mart announced a partnership with National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) which included representation on that organization's corporate advisory council. By entering

into a partnership with the NGLCC, the company was "making a very sincere effort to reach out to people who are a significant part of our customer base," said Wal-Mart spokesman Bob McAdam.

However, this move on the part of Wal-Mart to increase its appeal to one segment of the buying public came at the cost of offending another. Conservative groups were displeased with the retail giant's alliance with homosexual groups and were vocal in their opposition to it. The e-mailed "action alert" quoted above, for instance, was sent by Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman of the American Family Association (AFA).

On the other side of the aisle, not all members of the gay community were ready to embrace Wal-Mart merely for its having partnered with the NGLCC. Jeremy Bishop, program director of Pride at Work, a constituency group within the AFL-CIO labor federation, said Wal-Mart should not expect the support of gay shoppers when it does not offer domestic partnership benefits for its gay workers. Wal-Mart spokesman Bob McAdam said the company was considering offering such benefits but made no mention of when that might come about.

Most of the claims made in the AFA's "action alert" stand up to scrutiny. The retailer did commit to giving $25,000 annually to the NGLCC, and it agreed to sponsor two of that organization's conferences. As to the NGLCC being "a leading promoter of homosexual marriage," a number of its press releases do show the group as being vocal in its opposition to the Marriage Protection Act. However, the assertion that "Wal-Mart would give homosexual-owned businesses special treatment when making purchases" seems to be a misparsing of the retailer's newfound commitment to encourage gay-owned manufacturers to join the ranks of its suppliers.

The decision by Wal-Mart (along with dozens of other retailers) to donate 5% of sales initiated through the web site of the Washington DC Community Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People web site prompted the following "action alert" from the American Family Association in November 2006:

Wal-Mart Contributes 5% Of Online Sales To Homosexual Group

Sign the pledge not to shop at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving

Help recruit 1,000,000 families who will agree not to shop at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club (owned by Wal-Mart) on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Here's why:

In a show of support to help homosexuals legalize same-sex marriage, Wal-Mart has agreed to automatically donate 5% of online sales directly to the Washington DC Community Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People. The cash donation will come from online purchases made at Wal-Mart through the homosexual group's Web site. This move follows Wal-Mart's joining the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and agreeing to give generous financial help to that organization also.

Every purchase made online for books, music, videos, clothing and accessories, children's clothing and toys, and electronics at the site will automatically send 5% of the sales to the homosexual group. The
agreement is an indication that Wal-Mart is totally committed to supporting the homosexual movement.

Wal-Mart also gave a generous cash donation to the Northwest Arkansas Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, helping to provide a place where homosexuals can come together to "socialize."

Many observers feel it would have been a wise business decision for Wal-Mart to remain neutral in the cultural battle over homosexual marriage. But this was an ideological decision by Wal-Mart - not a business decision.

Less than careful readers might miss that the 5% donation applied only to sales made through the Metro DC GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered) web site — that is, purchases made at Wal-Mart stores or through Wal-Mart.com were not part of the "5% donation" scheme.

On 21 November 2006, Wal-Mart issued a statement affirming that the company "will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers," but the import of that statement regarding Wal-Mart's relationship with the NGLCC is not yet clear.

In June 2007, Wal-Mart announced its decision to to curb its support of GLBT organizations after conservative Christian groups threatened a boycott, and after some of its own employees expressed disapproval.

"We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to GLBT groups," said Mona Williams, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications. Individual stores can still donate to gay groups.

Barbara "Wal-Mart: not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" Mikkelson

Last updated:   5 December 2007

  Sources Sources:

    Frazier, Mya.   "Wal-Mart Quietly Hires Gay Ad Agency."

    Advertising Age.   28 August 2006   (p. 2).

    Geewax, Marilyn.   "Wal-Mart, Gay Business Group Form Partnership."

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.   24 August 2006   (p. C1).

    Goldman, Abigail.   "Wal-Mart Reaches Out, Gets Slapped."

    Los Angeles Times.   25 August 2006   (p. C1).

    Gunther, Marc.   "Plugged-in: Wal-Mart Shuns Gay Groups."

    Fortune.   22 June 2007.

    Advertising Age.   "Wal-Mart Right to Market to Gays."

    4 September 2006   (p. 12).

    U.S. Newswire.   "Wal-Mart Withdraws Support for Equal Rights."

    22 June 2007.

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