While support for same-sex marriage has grown and the nation's courts strike down bans on those unions, perceived support for the "gay lifestyle" or "homosexual agenda" is still controversial among certain groups. Despite vocal opposition, a growing number of retailers are becoming more active in their support of gay pride events and related causes.
According to a study by Witeck-Combs Communications, via The Associated Press, the purchasing power of the U.S. gay and lesbian population grew from $610 billion in 2005 to $830 billion last year. A recent gay pride parade in Salt Lake City included corporate sponsors such as eBay, Starbucks and Macy's.
The department store chain was the target of an op-ed on The Christian Post website by Linda Harvey, author of Maybe He's Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality. Ms. Harvey said Macy's support of "sex parades" contributes to the degradation of communities and "is an insult to American families."
Burger King is among the companies supporting gay pride events. The burger chain has debuted The Proud Whopper, which comes in a rainbow colored wrapper with the words, "We are all the same inside."
"It showcases who we are as a brand," Fernando Machado, senior vice president of global brand management at Burger King, told USA Today. "It shows how we, as a brand, believe in self-expression."
According to Pew Research, 54 percent of Americans support same-sex unions while 39 percent are opposed.
Are companies such as Burger King, eBay, Macy’s and Starbucks making the right business decision in sponsoring gay pride events?