The American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group, has been boycotting Home Depot for over three years because of the company’s support for LGBT groups and pride celebrations. This week, it announced that it would be ending its boycott, because according to director of special projects Randy Sharp, the company’s behavior has changed:
SHARP: We’re glad to report that we are suspending the boycott of The Home Depot. After monitoring the company for several months, we’re satisfied that the company has withdrawn its major financial contributions to gay activist groups and to their activities. [...]
We certainly do expect The Home Depot to deny that they have turned back their contributions to gay activist groups, but AFA has monitored the company – and actions speak louder than words.
Sharp did not offer any specifics about what actions the group had, in fact, monitored. Indeed, Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes offered a response to ThinkProgress indicating that nothing at the company had changed:
We haven’t made any changes to our policies for inclusion and respect of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. We have not directed our associates to discontinue participation in Pride or other community events, and have no intention of doing so.
Executives at the Home Depot have regularly rebuffed the AFA at shareholder meetings, ignoring the boycott entirely. In the past, AFA claimed that Home Depot was doing less to warrant a boycott, but continued the boycott anyway. It thus makes no sense that the boycott has ended now — when little else has changed — except that AFA has given up on the ineffective campaign.
Home Depot continues to offer a multitude of services to support diversity within its workforce, including a Pride Network Associate Resource Group. It also maintains an official partnership with numerous community organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, to support its diversity initiatives.