Change.org has the following petition in regards to New Balance:
Tell New Balance: Stop Supporting Anti-Gay Politicians
At first when I ran across this I thought, yes I should sign this but then I sat back and thought a little bit more about it. In politics and in life I believe that it is important to think about the big picture. I do not like that fact that Mitt Romney has signed an anti-gay pledge. I actually hate this fact BUT at the same time everyone involved has that right, Thank God. Of course, we also have the right to protest and never buy New Balance again but there are things that this pledge do not tell us. Did Chairman James Davis only donate money to Romney because of this pledge or is Davis trying to think about the big picture? For example perhaps Davis hates this pledge but loves the other 99 things that Romeny stands for and is trying to get past this one issue. Perhaps Davis gave him the money because of the anti-gay pledge and hates the other 99 things that Romney stands for. The fact is that this donation was made prior to Romney signing the pledge and even though Chairmen often believe they are fortune tellers they indeed are not.
So here is what New Balance had to say in response:
New Balance Statement on Political Donation
A letter from our CEO:
Dear New Balance associates, customers and consumers:
Earlier this year, a private donation was made by our Chairman to a political action committee that is affiliated with Mitt Romney. First, let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance. We encourage civic engagement at all levels and will always respect the right of any of our associates to engage in the political process as they see fit. We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different.
Mr. Romney recently signed a pledge that challenges same sex marriage and that has offended many including those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Mr. Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis’, my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community. As a company, New Balance embraces the differences in all people and we work tirelessly to create and sustain an environment where everyone – our associates, consumers, customers and guests – are treated with dignity and respect.
Did you boycot Obama in 2008 when he said that he was not in favor of gay marriage? He was very clear that while he did not support a Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage he also did not support Gay Marriage. However, he does support Civil Unions. For me that is not good enough. Is it for you?