Doug DeVos, president of Amway, has
defended a hefty donation to a group which opposes gay marriage.
At a press conference in Las Vegas last
week, former GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger announced a
boycott against the Orlando Magic and Amway over a donation given by
its president in support of the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage.
DeVos gave $500,000 to the National
Organization for Marriage Education Fund through his Douglas &
Maria DeVos Foundation in 2009.
It is the “largest family donation to
NOM in its history,” Karger said.
In a statement, Amway notes that the
owners “believe the highest calling of any individual is to express
their own personal beliefs as a participant in the democratic
“As private citizens, the DeVos
family supports causes and organizations that advocate for policies
aligned to their personal beliefs,” said an Amway spokeswoman.
emphasized that Amway “supports policies that create favorable
conditions for global businesses” and that the “Amway opportunity
is open to everyone.”
The boycott comes amid similar calls
against Chick-Fil-A, whose CEO, Dan Cathy, recently conceded that the
company financially supports groups which oppose gay marriage.
After buttoning up his campaign for the
GOP nomination for president in June, Karger returned to gay
activism, renaming advocacy group Californians Against Hate to Rights
Equal Rights. The Amway/Orlando Magic boycott is the group's
first since relaunching.