Angry Black Lady passes on the news that the gay-unfriendly company is giving up on trying to keep gay people from marrying. Worth lifting a drumstick to, if you’re so inclined.

This is definitely interesting. There are vastly more evangelical Christians than gay people in America, so while I didn’t much like that company engaging in gaybaiting I thought that it could have been a smart business move in that respect. That they’re quietly backing down suggests that they disagree. The whole thing just made me think of when FOX News bashed Wal-Mart for being part of the “War on Christmas” a few years back, because people at Wal-Mart said, “Happy Holidays!” rather than, “Merry Christmas!” Wal-Mart didn’t stop doing it. Considering that the company is well-known for its unfriendliness to labor groups and support of Republican politicians, it was a bit surprising to me. But perhaps even a company defined by union-busting and being the outlet of choice for poor people (and adding to their ranks with their business strategy) has more to fear from being the social conservative business. While I can think of a number of companies headed by social conservatives*, it’s almost always kept under wraps to some extent.

I wish I knew more about marketing practices (perhaps I should ask my brother who has a degree in the subject), but it seems as though the incentives for politicians and media personalities skew quite differently than for ordinary businesses. With the former two groups, you really can pick your audience/supporters in a way that businesses simply can’t. Most people generally don’t see consuming products as a political activity (at least in my experience), so to have a company engage in socially conservative causes so vocally and directly felt like a violation of the norm. I tend to avoid certain businesses that I know are backed by horrible right-wing guys and make an effort to buy things from union shops, but most people don’t know about that kind of stuff and don’t want to think about it. That was, I think, what drove the outrage. And it’s quite possible that all the same stuff applies to the right, too–after standing up for free speech and all that, you’re left with people who also aren’t wired to think politically about their consumer purchases. It’s a naive mindset IMO but it seems to be an American mindset, and no bass-playing lapsed thin guy can change that state of affairs with a solitary act of slacktivism.

*All I’m saying is, Pizza Hut is your best bet for a guilt-free slice of pizza. It’s owned by foreign investors.

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