The Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) and the Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association ( OPALGA ) , reacting to Republican gubernatorrial candidate Jim Oberweis's anti-gay marriage statements and actions, have embarked on separate platforms aimed at getting individuals and businesses to boycott the dairy magnate's products.
The GLN has fired off a letter to the division manager of the local Jewel food stores to ask the chain to stop distributing Oberweis items. According to GLN's Bob Schwartz, the move was made because of Oberweis's 'contribution toward the hateful advisory referendum on an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution.'
In a missive to Division Manager Juanita Kocanda, GLN stated that Oberweis has donated thousands of dollars to an anti-gay marriage initiative and added that the political candidate 'had the gall to say that passing a constitutional amendment against a whole group of people is 'not bigotry.''
GLN added that since the grocery-store chain promotes itself as 'gay-friendly' to the point that it even exhibits a huge grocery cart in Chicago's annual Gay Pride Parade, it would only be fitting that the stores stop selling Oberweis's products as a sign of support to the LGBT community.
The network also plans to distribute flyers to patrons of Jewel as well as other stores that carry Oberweis items.
In addition, OPALGA announced its intent to begin a community-wide boycott against Oberweis Dairy products, including those sold at the Oak Park retail outlet at 124 N. Oak Park Ave. OPALGA Board of Directors Co-Chair Cheryl Haugh, in calling for the boycott stated that Oberweis 'has continually stated his homophobic opposition not only to same-sex marriage but also civil unions. Oak Park has held high the banner of diversity. Oberweis has complete contempt of equal rights for ALL Americans.'
OPALGA is urging all residents to stop shopping at Oberweis's retail outlets, cancel their home deliveries, and stop purchasing Oberweis products at grocery stores. The organization plans to distribute informational flyers throughout the suburb, asking residents to join the boycott and reach out to other local organizations and churches for support.