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Betty Crocker faces boycott for endorsing gay marriage

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The Washington-based National Organization for Marriage, created to fight gay marriage proposals, is betting that Betty Crocker would be on their side. Because on Tuesday, the activist group announced a boycott of General Mills, owners of the Betty Crocker brand, which this month announced its opposition to a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota, their headquarters.

"We value diversity. We value inclusion," the food producer said in a letter, making it one of the biggest corporate voices for same-sex marriage.

"In declaring a war on marriage, General Mills is declaring war on their own customers. Now, rather than seeing the flowing 'G' trademark as a symbol of General Mills, consumers across the world will equate that symbol with gay marriage," said Brian Brown, NOM's president.

The group set up a website, www.DumpGeneralMills.com, for supporters who want to know which products to protest.

The introduction reads: "I never thought that by eating Cheerios for breakfast I would be supporting gay marriage. Your decision to pander to same-sex marriage activists has forced me to choose between your food products and my conscience. As long as food is produced by other companies my conscience is going to win out over the desire for another bowl of Lucky Charms. Until you stop supporting this radical social agenda I must, in good conscience, look for substitutes that I can purchase instead of the following brands."

General Mills told Secrets that it would not back down.

"We acknowledge the strongly held views on all sides of this question. We respect and defend the right of others to disagree," said Tom Forsythe, vice president for corporate communications.

"But General Mills has worked to create an inclusive culture for our employees for decades. As a Minnesota-based company, we believe it is important for Minnesota to be viewed as inclusive and welcoming as well."