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Tim Horton: Anatomy of a WTF

In case you were dead this weekend, or you were just born this morning (congratulations on your academic progress if you're already reading this!); gays hated Tim Hortons for about 15 seconds this weekend.

What happened?

So Maggie Gallagher and NOM is trying their damndest to turn Rhode Island into the Hate State. They're throwing a big party there on Sunday the 16th, to try and teach people how best to hate others. The whole thing is taking place at the beautiful, picturesque Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, RI, so if you were ever thinking of doing ANYTHING at the Aldrich Mansion, make sure you know that they hate you.

Apparently, the brochure prominently features "Tim Hortons" as a sponsor of the event. What's this all about? A local Rhode Island franchise of Tim Hortons had offered to sponsor the event and supply some free stuff for the haters (and haters in training), despite being against the Oakville, Ontario Canada's corporate policy.

So some Rhode Island Christian Radio program started publicizing the event, and mentioning everyone involved—including Tim Hortons. Early last week, Paul Auger—a cutie-pie Warwick, RI, web developer, was checking out Christian radio when he stumbled upon this information.

Auger was surprised, and shot off an email to Wesli Dymoke, a Rhode Island blogger, who Sunday wrote about the fiasco in a post on Providence Daily Dose.

Later that day, my homo-blogger crush, Michael Jones from, read the Daily Dose post, and immediately started a petition calling on Tim Hortons to back off supplying anything to the event.

Within hours 2000 people had signed the petition, and Facebook and Twitter were overloaded with Tweets about the whole thing—leading to a Monday afternoon press release by Tim Hortons renouncing the picnic sponsorship.

This, of course, led to NOM's Christopher Plante crying about being discriminated against by the gays again. At least he used the phrase Marriage Equality properly! This was followed by another sponsor, Blout Foods, also pulling their sponsorship—yay, I don't have to stop eating Panera!

So you can go ahead and enjoy your Tim Hortons again!

Sure, there was a lot of misinformed panic—a lot of folk were blaming Tim Hortons, when really it was a local flub—but this could lead to some really positive change. Companies are going to watch their support of NOM a lot more closely. At least I hope. Though Chris Geidner at LawDork was a bit disappointed with the hubbub, I'm not disappointed in all of this, and see this as a positive moment. What do you think?




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