Tag Archives: fred karger

Amway president’s donation to anti-gay group sparks boycott

Republican gay activist Fred Karger has called for a boycott of Amway Global following revelations that the multi-level, direct-sales company’s president donated half a million dollars to the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage in 2009.

On Aug. 3, Karger’s organization Rights Equal Rights launched the boycott to “support our friends and … keep pressure on the mega-donors to NOM and other likeminded organizations and individuals who so vigorously oppose Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality.”

The action is also a response to NOM’s current boycotts of Starbucks and General Mills for their donations to groups that support marriage equality.

“NOM constantly defends anti-LGBT companies like its ally Chick-fil-A and its owner for hateful and bigoted comments and actions, ”Karger said. “NOM has that right under our First Amendment and so do we.”

The Rights Equal Rights website states, “A global boycott of Amway will let others know that there are consequences of giving massive amounts of money to take away the rights of a minority.”

Amway has responded, clarifying that it does not discriminate in any way.

“Our employees and distributors come from all walks of life and represent an incredibly diverse set of backgrounds,” said an Amway spokesperson. “The Amway opportunity is open to everyone.”

Karger has directed four previous boycotts against donors to anti-gay groups and causes. Two of those donors responded by donating a like amount to LGBT organizations. 

Amway focus of gay rights boycott

Equal rights activists are encouraging a boycott of Amway based on reports that Doug DeVos, co-owner of the company, has given $500,000 to the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.

Fred Karger, the openly gay activist who this year made a run for the Republican presidential nomination, says the community ought to boycott the Michigan-based company and its subsidiaries.

The boycott campaign is headquartered online at boycottamway.com.

Karger, in a letter to Doug DeVos, said, “We were deeply disturbed to read recently that you had given $500,000 to a known hate group, the National Organization for Marriage. NOM has been one of the most virulently anti-LGBT organizations in the country since its formation five years ago; I know; I have been closely following NOM and its donors for over four years.”

Karger pointed out his involvement in the ongoing investigation of NOM’s campaign finance problems in California and Maine and refered to NOM’s campaigns against gay marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

“NOM’s goal appears to be harming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans,” Karger said, adding that it is interesting that NOM promotes corporate neutrality in its attacks on Starbucks and General Mills but defends Chick-fil-A “and its owner for hateful and bigoted comments and actions.”

Defending a boycott by gay rights advocates, Karger said, “NOM has that right under our First Amendment and so do we. We strongly feel that the LGBT community and our families, friends and allies should not support companies like Amway whose owners gave $500,000 to one of the nation’s leading anti-gay marriage hate groups, the National Organization for Marriage.

“We do not want the money that we spend to be used to take our rights away.”

The boycott includes Amway, Alticor and its sister companies Quixtar Incorporated, AccessGroup LLC, all of their subsidiaries and related brands.

ABC News reported that Amway responded with the statement, “As private citizens, the DeVos family supports causes and organizations that advocate for policies aligned to their personal beliefs.”

On the Web: http://www.boycottamway.com/letter-to-doug-devos/

Gay presidential candidate wins early ruling against conservative group

Gay presidential candidate Fred Karger won a preliminary bout in a discrimination complaint against the American Conservative Union Foundation.

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights recently denied ACUF’s motion to throw out Karger’s complaint alleging that it had discriminated against the Republican candidate on the basis of his sexual orientation. Karger alleges that ACUF deprived him of a booth and speaking spot at the Conservative Political Action Conference because he is gay.

The ACUF argues for a dismissal, claiming that the foundation doesn’t run CPAC and, regardless, it has a First Amendment right to choose speakers at its events.

The ACUF also said its disagreement with Karger is over his support of marriage equality, not his personal sexual orientation.

However, Gustavo Velasquez, the district’s human rights chief, concluded that an investigation of Karger’s exclusion from CPAC is warranted.

Karger describes himself as a political insider who went to outsider status. His campaign biography states:

“Fred Karger was the first to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States on March 23, 2011.

“Throughout his career, Karger has worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant on campaigns for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

“He retired after 27 years and has since become an activist for gay rights causes, including his organization Californians Against Hate (now Rights Equal Rights) to investigate the LDS Church and the National Organization for Marriage in their campaigns against marriage equality in California and Maine.

“Karger is the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history.”

He also has a reputation for a good sense of humor. Take a look at Karger’s “Pee-Wee Romney” ad.

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Karger campaign debuts ‘Sexy Frisbee’ ad

Republican Fred Karger, the first openly gay candidate of a major political party to run for president, debuted a new ad for the California primary. He is one of five Republicans on the June 5 primary ballot in the state.

Karger’s ad, “Sexy Frisbee,” opens with a “parental advisory: explicit content” warning on YouTube that has raised complaints from LGBT activists.

Watch the beach-themed ad here and then weigh in on WiG’s Facebook page: Was the warning required?

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Review sought of NOM’s gift from Romney PAC

Gay presidential candidate Fred Karger has filed a complaint seeking a review of how a $10,000 donation from a Mitt Romney PAC was missing from a National Organization for Marriage report.

Earlier this spring, the Human Rights Campaign reported that Romney donated to the anti-gay NOM through his PAC. The contribution was listed in a Schedule of Contributors form from 2008, which showed Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC gave $10,000 to the anti-gay cause.

HRC noted that Free and Strong America PAC filings with the Federal Election Commission for the period did not show a contribution to NOM, but a contribution was disclosed by an Alabama-based Free and Strong America.

The donation was not recorded on NOM’s filing with the California Secretary of State.

At the time, NOM was heavily involved in campaigning for the passage of Proposition 8 in California, an effort that also had substantial backing from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

HRC received the documents from what was described as a whistleblower early on March 30.

Karger has now filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

“Mitt Romney and NOM appear to have gone to a lot of trouble to hide his contribution,” Karger said in a statement. “I am sure that Romney’s $10K was never meant to never see the light of day.”

Karger’s complaint states:

“Exhibit 1 is a copy of the 2008 Federal Tax Return (Form 990) of the National Organization for Marriage. It shows a $10,000 contribution received from Governor Romney’s Alabama PAC “Free and Strong America.”  That $10,000 was not reported on NOM’s filing with the California Secretary of State.

“Exhibit 2 is page 3 of Governor Romney’s 2008 filing of his Alabama Free and Strong America PAC, as required by Alabama law.  It shows a $10,000 contribution to the National Organization for Marriage on October 14, 2008, less than three weeks before the 2008 election.

“NOM did not report that contribution on any of its filings with the California Secretary of State in 2008 or 2009. Contributions larger and smaller received by NOM earlier and later in October 2008 appear to all be reported, but the Romney PAC contribution was not.  There is also no record of NOM filing the mandatory 90-day election cycle report triggered by Governor Romney’s PAC contribution.

“Exhibit 3 is the link to NOM’s 2008 report with the California Secretary of State that shows that the National Organization for Marriage did not report the Romney PAC contribution.

“It appears that the National Organization for Marriage attempted to hide the Romney PAC contribution because of the significant attention that it would have received.”

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Gay man seeks GOP nomination

The first Republican to officially announce for the 2012 presidential race pledged to promote a pro-gay, pro-choice agenda.

But the first Republican to officially announce his bid for the GOP nomination is not first with many primary voters.

That first GOP candidate is Fred Karger. He is openly gay and served as an adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He is not raising big money. He is not courting Tea Partiers. He is not being included in the debates. And he was not on the ballot for the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13 on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

Karger is on a different track than others racing for the party’s nomination.

“I want to be a different kind of Republican,” Karger told CBS News earlier this year. “The kind of Republican I grew up with. I consider myself to be progressive. The last progressive Republican president was over 100 years ago – Theodore Roosevelt.”

In his announcement statement, delivered with a “Fred Who?” banner in the background, Karger said, “I will work tirelessly to bring back the spirit in every man, woman and child to help remake America the land of opportunity and equality for all.”

His platform, he said, includes repealing the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, finding a cure for HIV/AIDS and making “gay marriage the law of the land.”