Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Take a look at this document, submitted by Marcella V. Meyer (an abstinence education proponent, btw), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 03/10/06 as part of the Kraft proxy solicitation.
It's an attempt to bully Kraft Foods, a strong supporter of gay civil equality and a major sponsor of the Gay Games, a sporting and cultural event to be held in the Windy City this year. The Kraft annual meeting is on April 25. (via Freeperland, of all places)
STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALKraft, you might recall, told the religious right (including the American Family Association and our friend Peter LaBarbera of the Illinois Family Institute) to go take a flying leap and reiterated its support for the Gay Games even after the AFA launched a boycott.
DISSOCIATION FROM THE 2006 AND ALL FUTURE SO-CALLED "GAY GAMES"
Marcella V. Meyer, M.D., [address deleted], claiming beneficial ownership of 200 shares of common stock, submitted the proposal set forth below.
That in the best interest of our company Kraft Foods Inc. as well as in the public interest, Kraft Foods does hereby disassociate itself from the 2006 and all future so-called "gay games", and that no future financial support be given for the 2006 "gay games" or any other future activities supporting, proselytizing, promoting or encouraging homosexual activity or life style.
• It has been widely reported in the press that Kraft Foods is a major financial sponsor of the summer 2006 "gay games" in Chicago (Crain's Chicago Business, 5/23/05, "Gay Games Will Test Kraft, Harris"), and
• The gay rights movement is not a charitable activity; rather, it is a political movement designed to promote increased acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, and
• Numerous studies have linked homosexual activity to sexually transmitted diseases. (MMWR, CDC, 8/26/05, "Shigella flexneri Serotype 3 Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men—Chicago, Illinois, 2003-2004"). STD's are often followed by sickness and even premature death, especially from AIDS. The gay community is a major contributor to the spread of STD illness, and
• The "gay games" event will be appealing to immature young people attracted by the excitement, fun, and even glamour of the event. Some of these young people are likely to experiment with homosexual behavior as a result of this appeal, and
• Because of the "gay games" sponsorship by our company, Kraft Foods may at some future date be found to be complicit and legally liable in a case in which a young attendee at the "gay games" decides to experiment with homosexual encounters and later develops a serious, even fatal, illness, and
• The economic costs to Kraft Foods Inc. and other businesses in terms of medical care for employees as well as loss of employee productivity caused by sexually transmitted diseases are huge. (perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 36, Number 1, January/February 2004. "The direct cost of STDs including HIV among all age groups was estimated to be $9.3 - 15.5 billion in the U.S. in the mid-1990s").
It was no surprise to see this reaction to the bigoted shareholder bully:
The Board recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal.Show Kraft some love for its moxie:
The Company is committed to supporting the communities where we live and do business. Last year alone, the Company provided over $85 million in food and financial support to hundreds of non-profit organizations around the world.
The Company's charitable contributions program emphasizes three global focus areas relevant to its business: (a) promote better nutrition and more physical activity, (b) combat hunger and (c) promote agricultural sustainability. In addition, the Company supports local charities and civic events in its home communities, with an emphasis on organizations and events in Chicago, where our headquarters is located.
Diversity in all its forms is important to the Company. Based on a suggestion from one of our employee councils that help promote our awareness of and commitment to diversity, Kraft contributed $25,000 to the non-profit, tax-exempt entity that organizes the Gay Games VII. This will be an eight-day sports and cultural event that the City of Chicago is officially supporting. Other contributors to the event include CNA Insurance, Exelon, Harris Bank, and Walgreen's.
In short, while we understand the Proponent's position, the contribution was one of hundreds of donations that the Company made last year in the Chicago area and was well within the scope of our overall charitable giving program.
For these reasons, the Board recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal, and proxies received by the Company will be so voted unless stockholders specify a contrary choice in their proxies.
CEO Roger K. Deromedi
3 Lakes Dr.
Northfield, IL 60093
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