BY NOREEN FAGAN – Nothing makes me happier than getting an email in the
morning that is a call out for activism.
of Westin, the international hotel chain.
Why? It turned out that the chain had ties with the
Christian Values Network (CVN), a retail shopping portal that allows consumers to donate part of their
purchases to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research
The latter, in case you don’t know, has fought to repeal
hate crimes legislation in the United States and has, according to the
AllOut memo, “directed its members to pray for the continued criminalization
of homosexuality in Malawi.”
The social media bombardment worked, and Westin backed out of
the deal. So did Apple and more than 200 other companies, but one stalwart remained — hotels.com, a site that many of us use when looking for cheap hotel
So, what did AllOut do?
It sent out a simple message to its networks, asking people to “like” the Facebook page of hotels.com and
post this official campaign comment on their wall: “Stop
funding anti-gay hate groups through the Christian Values Network and go All
Out for LGBT Equality!”
It worked: hotel.com replied to one activist’s comment, “We already have."
It is couch activism at its best — international pressure applied
through social media by way of one simple copy and paste function.
I love it. And what I love more is that it took AllOut only four days and 500,000 signatures, from
people in 192 countries and 10 territories, to put a hold on the “Kill the Gays
Bill” in Uganda.