Ask Apple to Remove Itself From Homophobic "Christian Values Network"
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Pressure is mounting on Apple to remove their online store from the “ Christian Values Network” (CVN.org), after several other companies remove their stores this week, including Macy's, Delta Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo. CVN is used as a fundraising tool by several anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.
More than 19,000 people have signed Western Washington University student Ben Crowther’s Change.org petition asking Apple to remove their online store.
Crowther is no stranger to anti-gay bullying. It started in high school when he and his boyfriend were only the second gay couple to come out to their classmates. “The harassment got so bad I had to go the principal,” Crowther told Change.org.
In college, Crowther's dorm room door was regularly vandalized with anti-gay slurs. “I no longer live in the dorms because the bullying was so bad,” he said.
“I applaud Macy's and other corporations for stepping up and removing their stores from CVN," said Crowther. "I don’t think Apple realizes how problematic it is that they are supporting organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council by keeping their iTunes store on CVN."
Ben is optimistic about the support his petition is receiving. “I’m really encouraged by how many people have signed my petition on Change.org. I hope this is just an oversight on Apple’s part, and that my petition will bring this issue to Apple’s attention.”
This week Macy's joined a growing list of companies backing away from CVN.
When asked why Macy's removed their store from CVN.org, a Macy's spokesperson told Change.org, "Macy's serves a diverse society. As such, we are deeply committed to a philosophy of inclusion in the way we operate our business and support our communities," Macy’s said. "We welcome all customers into our stores."
Last Thursday, the Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines online stores were removed from CVN. Prior to removing their store, Wells Fargo was offering up to $300 to the religious charity of the shopper’s choice, money that could be donated to “Focus on the Family” or the Family Research Council. Delta offered $3.00 per ticket.
Jessica Beavers, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Change.org that “occasionally team members may act on their own to place ads on various sites that do not meet Wells Fargo’s brand and marketing standards. We requested the removal of this ad because it was not compliant with Wells Fargo’s brand and marketing standers."
On July 13, BBC pulled the BBC America Shop from CVN.
“BBC America Shop was not aware of CVN.org's current donation policies,” April Mulcair, BBC’s VP of Publicity, told UK Gay News in a statement. “We have ended our relationship with this affiliate effective immediately."
On July 7, Microsoft pulled their online store from the Christian Values Network after a Change.org petition started by Seattle resident and Microsoft customer Stuart Wilber highlighted several anti-gay groups raising money through the Christian Values Network.
Focus on the Family lobbied against several pieces of Federal legislation that would add protections for gays and lesbians under the law. They lobbied to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill designed to protect people from violent hate crimes based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Focus on the Family also lobbied to stop the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in an effort to prevent gay and lesbian service members from being open about their sexual orientation in the military. They also supported several bills that would make access to health care more difficult for women.