Saturday, July 09, 2005

Fort Wayne Bakery Backs Gay Bigotry

Fort Wayne's family-owned bakery, Ellison Bakery, has pulled the company's advertising from a trade magazine in retaliation for the publication's decision to run a "pro-homosexual editorial" according to Agape Press, an online Christian publication. The bakery made its decision after Dairy Field, a trade magazine for the dairy industry, published an editorial criticizing the American Family Association for urging a boycott of Kraft Foods because of its support of gay organizations, including its sponsorship of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. The American Family Association has bombarded Kraft Foods over the past several months with e-mails from its members urging the company to withdraw its sponsorship of the Gay Games. Kraft Foods has refused to cave in to the gay-bashing group's demands.

Particularly disturbing about Ellison Bakery's decision to end its $20,000 advertising account with Dairy Field were the bigoted comments uttered by the bakery's general manager, Todd Wallin. The article attributed the following comments to Wallin: "This is not a personal attack against people who have chosen this type of lifestyle," he hastens to explain, adding that homosexuals, like all people "are created in the image of God." Nevertheless, the executive adds, "I don't support things that would promote people making those bad choices." The article added, "The general manager points out that he made his decision to pull the company's ads with Dairy Field out of a sense of corporate and personal responsibility. He describes pulling the ads as an expression of values -- and certainly not an attack against homosexuals or those who support the homosexual lifestyle." Wallin added, "I don't want my company to be seen that way, and certainly personally do not want to do things that would promote people making that type of choice."

Ellison Bakery is headquartered in Fort Wayne, which has had a civil rights ordinance on the books since 2002 specifically prohibiting discrimination on the basis of one's sexual orientation. According to the company's website, Ellison Bakery supplies a variety of Archway brand cookies throughout the United States for the Archway Cookie Company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parmalat, a French company. It also manufactures ice cream sandwiches and ice cream toppings for the ice cream industry, including Fort Wayne's Edy's Ice Cream.

Advance Indiana finds it appalling that a heretofore respectable company like Ellison Bakery would adopt such a stridently anti-gay policy when it benefits economically from its straight and gay customers alike. Just as Ellison Bakery chose to go after the wallet of Dairy Field for its humanitarian views towards gays and lesbians, the GLBT community should rally its opposition to Ellison Bakery's bigoted policies and boycott their products. To log your complaint with the bakery for its bigoted policies towards gays and lesbians, you can click on e-mail here. You can also contact the Archway Cookie Company, which is the bakery's largest single customer to complain about its supplier's anti-gay policies to complain. You can call Archway at 1-888-4ARCHWAY (1-888-427-2492) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST/EDT. To complain to Edy's Ice Cream, click on e-mail here. Ellison Bakery deserves a taste of its own bitter medicine.

1 comment:

Advance Indiana said...

Advance Indiana editor Gary Welsh spoke to a consumer affairs representative for Archway Cookies this morning answering by the name Gil. He was not aware of Ellison Bakery's recent anti-gay statements, but he assured us that the views were not shared by Archway Cookies. He also told me that he believed Ellision Bakery's had not been used as a major supplier for about a year. He indicated he would send me an official company statement via e-mail, which I am still awaiting. It will be shared with Advance Indiana's readers once it is received.