LGBT rights activist Fred Karger announced Thursday a global boycott targeting the direct-sales giant Amway over its founder’s contribution to an anti-gay group.
Tax records obtained by Karger show that Amway president and owner Doug DeVos donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Education Fund through his Douglas & Maria DeVos Foundation.
“I have been closely tracking NOM for over four years,” Karger said. “NOM always tries to hide the names of its donors and often breaks state election reporting laws in the process. NOM is currently under active investigations for election law violations in Maine and California”
“I imagine NOM leaders Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown thought that no one would uncover the huge Amway contribution which appears to be the largest family donation to NOM in its history. Only the Catholic Church’s political arm the Knights of Columbus has given more to the ‘Hate Group’ NOM.”
NOM was formed in 2007 to pass Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage. The organization has fought against proposals in numerous states to legalize same sex marriage and allow same sex couples to adopt children. NOM came under fire earlier this year when strategy documents released as part of an investigation detailed the organization’s plan to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
“With four crucial gay marriage elections coming up on November 6 we feel that an Amway Boycott will send a message to Amway owners and other potential mega-donors that if you plan to give lots of money to anti-LGBT organizations like NOM or directly to the November anti-gay marriage campaigns we may well take action against you,” Karger said.
The company’s political donations are nothing new. Amway’s founding families have been described as “fervently conservative, fervently Christian, and hugely influential in the Republican Party.” The company has donated millions to conservative causes.
[Image via Ray Villalobos, Creative Commons licensed]