(NEW YORK) — After hundreds of thousands of people ate “mor chikin” last week to support the Chick-fil-A CEO’s traditional-marriage stance, another prominent company has found itself in the crosshairs of a boycott sparked by its executive’s marriage beliefs.
The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, financially supported by Amway president Doug DeVos, donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group that was one of the leading advocates against same-sex marriage initiatives in eight states.
Because of that 2009 donation, gay rights activists are calling for a boycott of Ada, Mich.-based Amway, a health and beauty products company, and its affiliates including the Orlando Magic basketball team, which DeVos’ father and Amway co-founder Richard DeVos owns.
“NOM constantly defends anti-LGBT companies like its ally Chick-fil-A and its owner for hateful and bigoted comments and actions,” gay rights activist and long-shot presidential candidate Fred Karger wrote in a statement announcing the boycott Friday.
Karger, the president of the LGBT advocacy group Rights Equal Rights, said the goal of groups like the National Organization for Marriage “appears to be harming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans.”
But Amway said the donation stemmed from DeVos’ personal beliefs and the “Amway opportunity is open to everyone.”
“As private citizens, the DeVos family supports causes and organizations that advocate for policies aligned to their personal beliefs,” Amway said in a statement.
The company added that the DeVos family believes “one of the highest callings of any individual is to express their own personal beliefs as a participant in the democratic process.”
Amway president Doug DeVos has apparently made no public statements about the issue one way or another.
A spokesman for the Orlando Magic said the team has seen no affect on ticket sales or support from the boycott.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
Matt Egan, CNN