Scores of protestors picketed the
H.E.B. at Highway 281 and Loop 1604 on June 16 because the grocery chain
donated money to PrideFest 2006. Among the sign-weilding group were a
dozen children whose ages ranged from about 5 years to 15 years-old. Adam
McManus, a San Antonio Christian radio talk show host for KSLR radio (630
AM), shown chatting with a newspaper reporter in photo right, organized
the protest. (QSanAntonio photos)
H.E.B. under fire for
QSanAntonio, June 16, 2006
On Thursday, June 15, Adam McManus, a San Antonio Christian radio talk
show host for KSLR radio (630 AM), declared war on H.E.B. for its corporate
sponsorship of PrideFest 2006, which takes place on June 17 at HemisFair
By the end of the day the H.E.B. Web site was overwhelmed with hundreds
of letters of protest from McManus’ listeners, most of who wrote
that they would stop shopping at the store if it did not pull it’s
support of the gay event. Additionally, McManus invited listeners to join
him in picketing an H.E.B. store on San Antonio’s far North side.
"Since H.E.B. supermarkets defends their sponsorship of the San Antonio
homosexual event, please join me and picket them this Friday night at
6:30 p.m.," McManus announced on his radio show. In addition to protesting
and sending emails, he asked his listeners to talk with in-store managers
and ask them to reconsider their "poor decision of sponsoring the
San Antonio Homosexual PrideFest on Father’s Day weekend."
On KSLR’s Web site, McManus wrote that his listeners’ emails
"suggested that H.E.B. get their money back, they issue an apology
to Texas families on their Web site, and commit never to sponsor this
unnatural, immoral, unbiblical lifestyle choice again in the future."
Reacting to the controversy, the H.E.B. corporate office issued a response
so timid that it seemed like an apology: "We received your e-mail
regarding our participation and the participation of other corporations
and banks in the upcoming Gay Pride Festival. H.E.B. received a request
for a small donation for the event; the request was reviewed and approved
by our Regional Diversity Council. We realize that you are unhappy with
us about this but we hope you will take into consideration that we contribute
to over 5,000 non-profit groups of all kinds across the state of Texas
McManus cut the grocer no slack, "To Christian consumers, it is irrelevant
whether the San Antonio homosexual Pridefest was the only group which
H.E.B. contributed to or one of 5,000. Wrong is still wrong. It cannot
Marsha Warren, chairwoman of PrideFest, said she first learned of the
protest from H.E.B. officials who informed her that the protestors would
be picketing their store at 20760 US Highway 281 (at 1604). Warren expressed
concerns that PrideFest would be marred by protests as well. "You
have to ask these people -- ‘Would Jesus discriminate?’"
she said, "and of course the answer would have to be ‘No.’"
QSanAntonio is encouraging its readers to let H.E.B. know that you support
their corporate sponsorship of PrideFest and their commitment to diversity.
Click here to access the H.E.B. "Contact
H.E.B. donation of $300 to PrideFest
H.E.B. press release, June 16, 2006
"H.E.B. values the opinions of all its customers. Our corporate donation
policy has always been one of inclusiveness and focused on treating all
our Partners and Customers with dignity and respect. Specifically, H.E.B.'s
contribution to PrideFest amounted to a donation of $300. This donation
in no way represents a political or social stance. It's about respecting
our Customers and Partners and supporting the communities we serve."
protest outside an H-E-B over chain's donation to Pridefest
San Antonio Express-News, June 17, 2006
More than 100 people joined Christian radio talk show host Adam McManus
on Friday evening to picket a busy H-E-B grocery store waving brightly
colored signs at passing commuters with phrases like "H-E-B pushes
the homosexual agenda," and "H-E-B promotes sodomy."
not bowing to pressure
Radio.WOAI.com, June 17, 2006
H-E-B is standing firm with its commitment to sponsor a Gay Pride event
held at Hemisfair Park this Saturday. The giant food store chain had received
letters from angry citizens urging them to stop promoting the homosexual
GLBT community mobilizes
support for H.E.B.
QSanAntonio, June 17, 2006
It was about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15 when Marsha Warren, chairwoman
for PrideFest 2006 called QSanAntonio with the news. She had just gotten
off the phone with H.E.B. officials who informed her that their Web site
had received hundreds of emails denouncing the grocery chain for its support
of PrideFest. "We’ve got to get the word out," she said,
"we need to come together as a community."
H.E.B. was blindsided by the protest because even though they had donated
$300, they were unaware that their logo was on the PrideFest Web site.
They only learned about it when Adam McManus, the Christian radio talk
show host, announced it on his June 15th program. After discussing the
matter with Warren, H.E.B decided to keep the logo up. (Although by Saturday
afternoon, June 17, the logo had been removed.)
What remained to do was essentially damage
control. Within 30 minutes of speaking to Warren, QSanAntonio sent out
an email alert to a list of 400 names including emails to local media
outlets. By Thursday evening the first supportive emails began arriving
at the H.E.B. Web site.
Early morning on Friday, June 16, City Councilwoman Elena Guajardo contacted
QSanAntonio to say that she had spoken to H.E.B. officials who told her
that they had only received a few positive emails from the GLBT community.
Guajardo asked that QSanAntonio put the word out once again emphasizing
what H.E.B. had said.
The second time was the charm. By mid-day QSanAntonio received dozens
of emails from readers who said they were networking with friends and
relatives to blitz H.E.B.’ s Web site and switchboard with "Thank
You’s" for supporting PrideFest.
On Friday afternoon a second wave of emails went out from Equality Texas,
an Austin-based GLBT lobbying group that maintains a database of gay voters
throughout Texas. The group targeted people on their list who reside in
cities where H.E.B. does business. The email provided an automatic, Web-based
response mechanism whereby recipients could click on a link and automatically
send their message to H.E.B. According to local sources, Equality Texas
has a database of 25,000 names in San Antonio alone.
Throughout the day Councilwoman Guajardo was networking with local GLBT
citizens to devise a way to show H.E.B. that the gay community was an
important segment of their market. Guajardo and others felt that a counter-protest
was not the way to go. One idea that was floated is a coupon that GLBT
shoppers would take to H.E.B. and give to the cashier at the checkout
stand. The coupon would thank H.E.B. for its support of gay events and
show the amount the shopper has spent in the store. This and other ideas
are still being discussed.
As of Friday evening, June 16, H.E.B. spokesperson Marcie Casas could
not say how many positive calls were received but that the response was
very good. At 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Equality Texas reported they
had 1750 email campaign participants, 150 from San Antonio.
When QSanAntonio spoke with Marsha Warren early
Friday evening she expressed her thanks to everyone who made his or her
voice known. Sounding a bit weary from the day’s events, she only
had one worry left – putting on the PrideFest.
McManus stages another
protest, calls for H.E.B. boycott
QSanAntonio, June 24, 2006
Christian talk show host Adam McManus, perhaps
feeling a sense of defeat, staged another protest on June 23 from 6:30
p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the H.E.B. on Blanco Road and Loop 1604.
Speaking on his daily radio show on KSLR on June 23, McManus said that
the purpose of the second picket was to announce a month-long boycott
of H.E.B. He urged his listeners to shop elsewhere and send their grocery
receipts to him so that he could show H.E.B. how much money they’re
One source who was on the scene to observe the latest protest told QSanAntonio
that there were about 30 picketers holding orange and green signs on the
sidewalk in front of the H.E.B parking lot. The Express-News did not cover
the event it in its June 24 edition. A report did appear on KENS-TV on
its 10 o’clock newscast and on its Saturday morning news show (photo
McManus seemed particularly anxious to make this second protest a success.
He admitted on his radio show that the GLBT community, with the help of
powerful players like Equality Texas, sent in thousands more messages
than his listeners did. He estimated that only 700 – 800 of his
You can read McManus’ very long rant against H.E.B. and the GLBT
community at at his Take
A Stand web site. The GLBT community may also be interested to see
the list of Adam's
Advertisers -- local businesses that run ads on his KSLR radio show.
In his online rant McManus also mentions the
Gay Pride San Antonio parade to
be held on July 2. This controversy may persist into that event as well.
Guajardo meets with
QSanAntonio.com, June 24, 2006
San Antonio City Councilwoman Elena Guajardo told QSanAntonio today that
she met with officials from H.E.B. in her office on June 22 to discuss
the anti-gay backlash they received after donating $300 to PrideFest.
"H.E.B. told me they got the message from the GLBT community and
that the corporate office is very impressed with the response they received,"
Councilwoman Guajardo reported that H.E.B. told her that "sales have
held strong" indicating that last week’s anti-gay protest had
little or no effect on the grocer’s operations.
In the face of this new protest, Guajardo encourages the GLBT community
to continue its calls and emails thanking the grocer for its support of
PrideFest. Emails should go to email@example.com.
The phone number to call and give your message of thanks is 210-938-8357.
Guajardo says H.E.B. suggested that another way for the GLBT community
to show its continued support is to give a monetary donation to the San
Antonio Food Bank, which makes food available to local HIV charities.
Coupons for donating are available at the checkout counter of every H.E.B.
The donation can be as small as $1.00. On the coupon write, "Thank
you for supporting PrideFest." This is a very tangible way to show
H.E.B. that we stand behind them.
Following is a list of businesses that advertise on McManus’ radio
4711 Broom Street, San Antonio, 210.656.9027, http://www.beyerboys.com
Financial Coach, 210.392.5411, http://www.chuckbowen.net
14630 Blanco Road, 210-479-1901
Owner Greg Waters, 7547 McCullough, 210-822-6766, http://www.flowerforrest.com
Owner, R.J., 8440 Fredericksburg Road, 210-692-5262
Kirk Riggs Custom Homes,
210.379.7351 Lantana Ridge, Highway 281 North and Rolling Creek Road;
Rockin' J Manufactured Homes
Owner -- John George, 9750 North US 281; 1-800-228-8031
San Antonio's Dirt Busters
Mike Flores -- owner, 210-685-1931
School of Excellence in Education
Ricky Hooker, Superintendent, 802 Oblate, San Antonio, 78216, and 1826
Basse Rd, San Antonio, 78213, 210-431-9881, http://www.excellence-sa.org
Dr. Stan Shelton, Dental Solutions
13350 O'Connor Road, Suite 12, San Antonio 78233, 210-590-7878, http://www.drshelton.com
State Farm Insurance Agent Kevin Anderson
5149 Wurzbach, San Antonio 78238, 210-680-0850
T Bar M Camps
830-620-4263, non-denominational Christian Summer Camps in New Braunfels,
Texas and on Lake Travis. http://www.tbarmcamps.org
radio host holding Texas grocery chain accountable
AgapePress.org, July 11, 2006
San Antonio, Texas, site of the famous 19th-century battle at the Alamo
-- is now host to another potential battle that is brewing, this one between
homosexual activists and conservative Christians. The battle is centered
on, of all things, a statewide chain of grocery stores.
activist taking up Butt
goodasyou.org, July 11, 2006
Adam McManus, a queer-unfriendly radio host in Texas, is lashing out against
local grocery store chain H-E-B and its CEO Charles Butt for their recent
support of the San Antonio Pridefest.
Adam McManus holds a bright green sign questioning
the sanity of Charles Butt. A female protestor holds a blue sign in Spanish
saying, "H.E.B. why don't you want my business?" Jack Finger,
San Antonio's most well-known homophobe, sported a red tie.
McManus and twelve anti-gay disciples
QSanAntonio, July 8, 2006
Christian radio talk show host Adam McManus and twelve of his followers
staged a third protest at an H.E.B. store on Friday, July 7. Among the
picketers was San Antonio’s most well-known homophobe Jack Finger.
Earlier in the day, speaking on his KSLR radio show, McManus
said he hoped to get 200 picketers to the H.E.B. store at South Zarzamora
and Southwest Military Drive to protest the store’s donation to
PrideFest last month. Those numbers never materialized. In fact, the demonstration,
which was scheduled for 6:30 p.m., didn’t get started until after
The latest H.E.B. protest was the smallest yet. Previous protests, held
on the far North Side of San Antonio, occurred on June 16 and June 23.
For his first South Side protest McManus came prepared with signs written
in Spanish, sometimes to comic effect. One orange banner read, "H.E.B.
empuja el agenda alegre," which when translated says, "H.E.B.
pushes the happy agenda."
Southsider’s were not embarrassed to make their sentiments known
to the protesters. QSanAntonio witnessed one woman screaming at the protestors
from the parking lot, "You’re all white. Do you hate black
people too?" Later on, a truck full of women went by honking and
yelling out the window, "We love lesbians!" There were a few
Despite his persistence, McManus’ pitch seems to be running out
of steam. His July 6 radio show was filled with repetitive chatter –
he had nothing new to say. During the hour in which he discussed H.E.B.
only five listeners called in make a comment. However, those responses
came only after McManus offered free Chick-Fil-A coupons to callers.
McManus also called for a month-long boycott of H.E.B. asking his listeners
to shop elsewhere and send him the receipts so that he could show how
much money the store was losing. On July 7, he employed the help of the
American Family Association, the notoriously anti-gay organization based
in Tupelo, Mississippi, to send out an "action alert" email
signed by AFA founder and chairman Donald E. Wildmon.
San Antonio City Councilwoman Elena Guajardo told QSanAntonio that she
met with officials from H.E.B. in her office on June 22 to discuss the
anti-gay backlash they received after their donation to PrideFest.
H.E.B. told Guajardo that the best way to counteract McManus’ protest
was to make a donation to the San Antonio Food bank using the coupons
available at every H.E.B. checkout counter. Shoppers should write on the
coupon, "Thank you for supporting PrideFest" indicating the
GLBT community’s support of H.E.B. The coupons are available in
one, three and five dollar demonminations.
H.E.B. spokesperson Marcie Casas told QSanAntonio that there
had been no noticable response from the Food Bank coupon campaign as yet.
QSanAntonio urges its readers to act on this as soon as possible.