Apple, Microsoft, and an array of other online retailers have found themselves at the center of a gay-rights battle, the New York Times reports. The retailers have been tied to an Internet marketer, the Charity Giveback Group, that receives a commission when it sends the retailers an online customer. There's nothing unusual about the arrangement—except that part of that commission goes to a Christian charity selected by the customer, and the list of charities said customer has to choose from includes Christian groups that loudly oppose homosexuality.
When a Seattle man found out that Microsoft customers who buy through the CGBG were then able to donate a portion of the commission Microsoft paid the CGBG to anti-gay causes, “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding, Microsoft,’” he said. His online petition quickly resulted in the software firm cutting its ties to CGBG; more petitions spurred Apple and other firms to do the same. But CGBG says it’s just giving customers a choice, and Christian groups say they’re facing discrimination for Biblical values. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, calls the petition effort “economic terrorism.” Click through for more on the e-commerce controversy. (Read more petition stories.)