Robot 6

Oni splits with vendor over ties to anti-marriage equality group

oni logoOni Press has ended its business relationship with packaging supply company Uline over its CEO’s financial support of an Illinois group that went to “unseemly lengths” last year to try to block passage of that state’s marriage-equality bill.

In a letter signed by a dozen employees and posted Tuesday on its blog, the Portland, Oregon-based publisher explained that, “While our professional relationship with Uline has been a prosperous one, the fact that Family-PAC is funded in part by Uline’s CEO [Richard] Uihlein, is information we simply cannot abide or ignore.”

The Chicago-based Family-PAC, which describes itself as “the leading pro-family, anti-tax political action committee in Illinois,” was behind robocalls that targeted state Rep. Mike Smiddy for accepting $6,500 in donations from “Chicago homosexuals” and decried the alleged negative effects same-sex marriages have on children.

Following passage of the marriage-equality bill by the state House in November, Family-PAC Director Paul Ciprio issued a statement declaring, “Today evil triumphed.” Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law about two weeks later.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that in just two and a half years, Uihlein has become the state’s largest Republican donor nationwide, giving “nearly $4 million to national tea party candidates and their super-PAC juggernaut, plus almost $1.8 million to the most conservative candidates and causes in Illinois.” In addition to Family-PAC, Uihlein also supports the Illinois Family Institute, which opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as the addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s Human Rights Act.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs,” the Oni letter concludes, “but it is also up to us whether or not we choose to support them. We choose instead to support our readers, creators and employees, regardless of their gender identity, race or sexual orientation, which is why effective immediately, we are severing all ties with Uline and pursuing a relationship with a local vendor.”



Ah, yes, black-listing people based on their political beliefs. How can this not end well?

Great story!

Bravo for Oni on sacrificing profit to stand up for justice and freedom!

I’m sure you’d like to think it’s that simple Jerzy, but it’s not. The people that buy Oni’s products represent all walks of life. Would a gay person want their money used to support anti-gay legislation? Probably not. This is a smart business decision by Oni, nothing more.

Oni just keeps climbing higher and higher in my opinion. They’re doing some great stuff creatively and they’re following it up with social responsibility.
It’s all well and good to say people have the right to their opinion but they don’t have the right to attempt oppress a specific group. And we as consumers have the right to show our support or displeasure with our patronage.

Oni just said in effect “We believe in tolerance and acceptence, except of those whose political opinions differ from ours! We will therefore punish economically those who disagree with us even though their political opinions have nothing to do with the quality of services that they have rendered.”

Really? The ol’ “You’re not being tolerant of their intolerance” chestnut?

Mike and Jerzy are cool with doing business with Nazis if their assertions are to be believed.

Of course, their comments are just a feeble attempt at justifying bigotry without paying the social price for it. It’s really saying “I don’t want to be labelled a bigot by society for having bigoted opinions (which I am still free to express).”

What this situation should actually tell you is THE FREE MARKET IS WORKING! ;)

RegularSyzed Mike is right: The free market is working. Nothing wrong with what Oni did.

RegularSyzed Mike is also over the top: Comparing those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman to Nazis is laughable. A great many people who believe the term “marriage” means one thing also believe that gay civil unions should be legal and confer identical benefits as traditional marriage.

If you truly think there’s “no difference” between the two, then you might also believe there is no difference between a male and a female, too.

Just my 2 cents.

Hube –

The problem is not in believing that a marriage is between a man and a woman. People should be allowed to believe in whatever they want. The problem is in trying to control other people’s lives, people that may not share your beliefs. The guy in question opposed even civil unions, and used his money to try and deny people their choices.

While comparing them to Nazis was a enormous exaggeration, I understand Mike’s frustration. If you are supposed to tolerate everything, no matter how intrusive and aggressive, where do you draw the line? But I would not compare them to Nazis, but to the guys that opposed interracial marriage in days gone by with arguments that are very similar to today’s anti-gay folks.

Never read an Oni book nor have I an intimate knowledge of the political beliefs of their owners/employees. However, Uline in my experience has always provided exemplary service to both my employer and myself and I have no valid reason to stop using them.

If we are to stop using services based on political contributions of owners or staff, I dare say most of us would be hard pressed to complete any task necessary for commerce.

Bigoted homophobes don’t have to buy anything from Oni Press. Smaller box manufacturers that don’t donate millions in campaign contributions to bigoted causes can get some more business. Maybe ULine will see a surge in business from all of this? The Westboro Baptist Church needs boxes to mail their stupid stuff too.

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