Anti-Gay Groups Call For Boycott Of Proctor & Gamble

Thu. September 16, 2004 12:00 AM by

Cincinnati, Ohio - Conservative Christian political groups are calling for a boycott of Proctor and Gamble after the consumer products company urged its workers to support the repeal of an anti-gay charter amendment in Cincinnati.

In an open letter to all employees, the Cincinnati-based multi-national said "P&G joins a number of other major businesses, in the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, civic, religious and community leaders in supporting repeal."

The 1993 charter amendment made Cincinnati the only U.S. city to ban enactment or enforcement of laws based on sexual orientation, effectively tying the hands of the city council from enacting laws protecting gays and lesbians against discrimination.

Citizens to Restore Fairness an umbrella organization of mainly gay civil rights groups has forced a referendum on the charter article. The question of whether to scrap it will appear on the November ballot.

The letter to P&G workers was signed by Dick Antoine, Global Human Resources Officer, and Charlotte Otto, Global External Relations Officer.

It says that the charter amendment "prevents Cincinnati from developing a reputation as an open and welcoming community." The letter also says that it "negatively impacts the city and region’s image and therefore limits P&G’s ability to attract and retain the best talent to help build our business."

" Article 12 is the only law of its kind in the United States that allows discrimination against a specific group of people, a distinction that makes the city of Cincinnati out of step with doing what’s right."

In addition to Proctor & Gamble and other Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce members, the city's Roman Catholic Archbishop has also called for repeal of the amendment.

But, both the American Family Association and Focus on the Family say Proctor & Gamble has gone too far and Wednesday urged their supporters to boycott the company.

P&G makes Crest toothpaste, Tide detergent, and dozens of other popular products.

"Procter & Gamble ... has publicly thrown their support and money behind the homosexual political agenda," said AFA in a statement.

The group also claims the company is showing its "support for homosexual marriage," although the Proctor & Gamble statement on the Cincinnati ballot measure did not mention same-sex marriage. Voters across Ohio will decide in November whether the state constitution should be amended to ban gay marriage.

"P&G said they 'will not tolerate discrimination [against homosexuals] in any form, against anyone, for any reason.' To keep homosexuals from being legally married is discrimination for good reason, which P&G says they will not tolerate. Taking them at their word, P&G supports homosexual marriage," AFA said in its statement.

Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson called the Proctor & Gamble letter "an affront to its customers."

"It's tough to make a dent, financially, in a corporate giant like Procter & Gamble," Dobson told millions of listeners to his Christian radio program. "But we can send a very strong message to the men and women in the corporate offices: 'Not only have you lost your moral compass, but you have lost our business. And you're not going to get it back until you stop insulting us and disregarding our values.' "

Proctor & Gamble has been a longtime supporter of the gay community. It has one of the strongest workplace equality policies among American companies and is a frequent advertiser in the LGBT media, including

In addition to Tide and Crest, P&G makes dozens of consumer products including Bounce, Bounty, Cascade, Eukanuba dog food, Febreze, Folgers coffee, and Head & Shoulders.

© 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.