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Wgn gay businesses critical of McDonalds

Thu 17 Apr 2003 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

Wellington gay businesspeople have entered the McDonalds vs Tearaway magazine fray, with the Gay Association of Professionals accusing the burger chain of copping out over homosexuality issues and dealing a double whammy to young gays and lesbians. At issue is the latest edition of long-standing teen mag Tearaway which offers information to young people who might be gay. Following concerns raised by two of its outlet owner/operators McDonalds at first ordered a national recall of the magazine, then as public concern mounted threw the decision to owner/operators, many of whom are now stocking the gay-themed issue, according to McDonalds. GAP president Kevin Baker says throwing the decision to individual operators is a "cop out" on the company's behalf and takes issue with the company's stance that "publications dealing with sexuality [are] not appropriate for a family restaurant." "Gays and lesbians have families too. Many are parents," he says. Baker is also concerned at the effect of the controversy on young impressionable gays, saying any refusal to exclude questions of homosexuality “deals a double whammy, reinforcing for them the notion that they and their sexuality are not accepted.” The membership of GAP has been urged to contact McDonalds expressing their views. As of 1pm today McDonalds Director of Corporate Relations, Liam Jeory, could not be contacted for comment and was not returning phone calls.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 17th April 2003 - 12:00pm

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