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July 11, 2011

IconMicrosoft withdraws from Christian Values Network

Computing giant Microsoft has withdrawn its online store from the Christian Values Network after a petition highlighted the latter organisation’s link to “anti-gay hate groups”.

The multinational acted within hours after 520 people signed a change.org petition launched by Microsoft customer Stuart Wilber. The petition demanded that Microsoft “stop using their brand to raise money for hate”.

“Microsoft’s swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” said Wilber. “Microsoft has a long tradition of being supportive of our community. I assumed they would be just as upset as I was that their brand was being used by anti-gay hate groups to raise money. I’m glad I was right.”

The Christian Values Network is designed to raise money for religious organisations through the purchasing of products online. A donation is made to the customer’s charity of choice when they buy a product through the network.

Groups funded through this system include Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Summit Ministries, Abiding Truth Ministries and Liberty Counsel: all US conservative Christian organisations described as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

“No respectful company or organization should do business with CVN as long as it helps fund these anti-gay organizations,” said Wilber. “Focus on the Family and other groups like it knowingly spread lies with deadly consequences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

A similar petition is now targeting Apple, who also enable customers to donate through the Christian Values Network. Other well-known brands supporting the service include Netflix, Dell and Sesame Street.

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Ruth Pearce

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