During our first monthly Board of Directors meeting for December two weeks ago, we voted unanimously on two important amendments to our Bylaws as well as an internal policy. We voted on these because we believe in a definition of equality which is deeper and more substantive than "ban conversion therapy" or "legalize same-sex marriage". Today, we wanted to announce our reasons behind these guiding rules and what it implies.
First, we want to explain Internal Policy #2017.2, our Ethical Advertising Policy, which directly affects visitors to our website. To raise additional revenue for our nonprofit activities and reduce our need to rely on individual donations, we implemented Google AdSense on our internet domain. Google AdSense displays advertisements from different websites and companies. When visitors see these advertisements or click on them, we receive compensation. Google AdSense gives us the ability to deny certain websites and companies from displaying advertisements, as well.
Internal Policy #2017.2 elaborates our ability to deny advertisements from groups we find to promote hateful speech. No organization has the right to require us, or Google AdSense, to display their promotional materials, and we believe it is a detriment to our nonprofit and our visitors to aid in the business of people who promote hatred. Internal Policy #2017.2 also requires Front & Centre to empower our visitors to report hateful advertisements. Our supporters are also our partners in the fight for LGBTQA rights in Centre County, and therefore, we want to work with them to stop the promotion of websites like Brietbart.com, our first blocked website. Breitbart.com has an innumerable count of articles perpetuating hateful views, some of which (our emphasis added) include anti-Semitic "Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew", Islamophobic "Political Correctness Protects Muslim Rape Culture", transphobic "World Health Organization Report: Trannies 49 Xs Higher HIV Rate", and sexist "The Solution to Online 'Harassment' is Simple: Women Should Log Off." Their bigotry has even galvanized support for a movement called Sleeping Giants which urges all advertisers to block Breitbart advertisements. Needless to say, we agree.
Second, our Bylaws amendment, Article II, Section 3. Environmental Stewardship Purpose clause, expands on our commitment to equality financially. Whereas Internal Policy #2017.2 mandates we do not profit off of hateful speech or subject our visitors to supporting hateful speech, our Environmental Stewardship Purpose requires us to not profit off of the destruction of our planet or subject our supporters to such practices.
Some might ask why we are handicapping Front & Centre because of the environment. We do not believe Article II, Section 3 hinders our nonprofit: in fact, we believe it is helpful moving forward as we distribute goods, from t-shirts to letters, and helpful in advancing our mission to promote and expand LGBTQA rights in Centre County, Pennsylvania. We believe improving equality for one group of people improves equality for all people. Therefore, not only does promoting and expanding LGBTQA rights help the LGBTQA community, but promoting and expanding environmental rights, like the right to enjoy the same biodiversity and healthy planet as previous generations, will also help the LGBTQA community. People with minority sexual orientations or non-conforming gender identities all breathe air, drink water, and use natural resources. Situations like urban homelessness also disproportionately effect the LGBTQA community.
Third, and lastly, we are happy to communicate why we passed Article II, Section 4. The Ethical Purpose amendment to our Bylaws obligates us to only use goods which come from (or substantially come from) countries where homosexuality and same-sex marriage are legal. We do not want to promote any society which subjugates its people because of who they love. Prejudice in one country often spreads, and likewise, equality in one country often spreads. The Ethical Purpose clause even asks us to inform companies why we will not buy their products, so that hopefully, these companies see not only the humane aspects of LGBTQA equality but also the economic aspects of LGBTQA equality.
Article II, Section 4 also bars us from using products from countries which are not democratic. Equality of love and equality of marriage are fundamental to Front & Centre. We will not support countries where there is not equality of people: where somebody does not have a say in their country and the laws which govern it. LGBTQA rights are human rights and human rights are LGBTQA rights: by supporting one, you support the other, and by ignoring one, you ignore the other.
We hope our supporters understand these procedures and agree with them.