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Holiday Shopping Guide for Those Who Support Gay Rights

Dec. 10, 2012
Personal Finance
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In this holiday shopping crunch, some gay rights supporters are concerned that they may be spending their money at companies that donate to programs that are inconsistent with their values.  For those interested in doing more research on where retail corporations make donations, NerdWallet offers a guide to some popular stores.

For information on charities, refer to our Holiday Donation Guide for those who support gay rights.

Retailers that oppose gay rights

1. Wal-Mart

Controversy: Wal-Mart’s founder’s son Jim Walton donated $75,000 to the Family Council Action Committee’s attempts to ban gay couples from adopting. Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke signed this petition as well.

Alternatives: Wal-Mart is a retail giant, operating discount department stores all over the world. Alternatives include pro-gay stores like JC Penney, who hired well-known comedian Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson, then responded to protests from homophobic groups by featuring lesbian couples and families in their May 2012 catalog. Macy’s is another great choice, and they backed same-sex marriage by releasing ads with a same-sex couple perched on the top of a wedding cake. Other options include Levi Strauss, Apple, Nike and others.

2. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie

Controversy: Urban Outfitters founder Richard Hayne donated $14,150 to Rick Santorum’s campaign. The openly gay CEO Glen Senk resigned, and Hayne is now CEO of the company. They also removed tee shirts with the statement “I Support Same Sex Marriage” from the shelves. Urban Outfitters has also offended the transgender community, Navajo Nation, women’s health advocates, Jewish people, Mexican people and people of Irish descent.

Alternatives: You can find thousands of independent retailers on NerdWallet Indie, or you can check out local shops in your community.

3. Best Buy

Controversy: In 2010, Best Buy gave $100,000 to Minnesota Forward, a group that supported Tom Emmer, a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who was opposed to gay marriage and affiliated with a group that states that executing gay people is moral.

Alternatives: Try shopping online for electronics at Amazon. Pro-gay founder Jeff Bezos donated millions to support same-sex marriage legislation.

4. Cinemark and Century Theaters

Controversy: Cinemark CEO Alan Stock donated $9,999 in support of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

Alternatives: See your holiday movies at AMC instead (but don’t go to Regal Cinemas), or check out your local movie theaters.

If you are a gay rights supporter who is concerned about spending money at anti-gay companies, don’t fear—there are a plethora of companies that support gay rights, and you can also shop at small businesses or independent retailers.

For more information on companies not listed here, check out the Human Rights Campaign’s guide and ratings system for retailers.

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