Dallas Ford Dealer Jerry Reynolds Responds
I reported earlier that it seemed that it was Garland, Texas Ford Dealer, Jerry Reynolds who brokered the deal between Ford and the anti-gay AFA. I wrote Jerry Reynolds asking him about this. Here is his response:
It's natural to make situations like this personal, but truly it was not about any group of people...it was just about business. I have many gay and lesbian friends and employees who I love and adore. My issue had nothing to do with gay versus straight any more than black versus white. On behalf of the Ford dealers who are having the worst year in over 20 years, what you don't need is a boycott. That was my only issue. In reality, nobody "won" but we did agree to open dialogue in the future, nothing more. In return for the dialogue, the boycott was canceled. No deal was made, no deal was brokered. Ford is cutting their advertising in ALL areas, especially when it comes to Jag and Rover, two divisions that continuously lose money. Volvo was a different deal...they are profitable and will continue to advertise in gay publications.
You can believe the press or you can believe me, whichever you choose. But there was NO DEAL made with the AFA, period. I was successful in convincing them to call off the boycott because it hurts the DEALERS, not Ford. Ford sells NOTHING to the public and therefore a boycott would not harm them, only us, and we have no control over where they spend their advertising dollars.
If you want to try to harm me for trying to protect my business and my employees, I understand. But make sure everyone has all the facts please, that all I ask.
You can mail Jerry Reynolds to express your opinions about Ford's decision to kowtow to the AFA at CARGUY413@aol.com.
Dan Blatt at Gay Patriot has a good post about the Ford story. The comments are iluminating.
More from Jerry Reynolds as quoted in Express Gay News:
The boycott suspension was declared soon after the owner of a Ford dealership in Dallas, Jerry Reynolds, was alerted to the boycott and grew concerned that it might impact his business. Reynolds said he contacted AFA Executive Director Tim Wildmon, arranged a meeting between the AFA and concerned dealers and struck a suspension deal.
"If I can get some top Ford executives to sit down with you and your group, would you suspend the boycott?" Reynolds said he asked Wildmon. The longtime conservative activists immediately agreed, Reynolds said.
Reynolds said the aim of the meeting with Ford is to "see what things most bother [the AFA] and what can be changed to make them happy," Reynolds said.
"If the AFA has input into the marketing content, it could have benefits to both Ford and the AFA," he said.
"I believe in family values, too. I'm a Christian, too," Reynolds added.
When the boycott was announced just a week earlier, Ford responded with a statement that it valued all people, including gay men and lesbians. Ford said, "We are glad to see that this spirit of inclusion is evident in the practices of other auto-makers that do business in this country as well."
An AFA representative confirmed suspension of the boycott in an e-mail but declined to explain why it was lifted.
Pam Spaulding and Good as You have been covering this also. Pam posted some email contacts for Ford people.