Virginia is for haters.

After last week’s ban on civil unions in Virginia, a website has sprung up supporting a boycott on Virginia-based businesses. Virginia is for Haters (the name is a play on Virginia’s well-known and no-longer-accurate “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan) proposes starting the boycott with J. Crew.

Why boycott J. Crew? Well, Virginia seems to have lashed out at same-sex couples with little logic so we’re trying the same tack.

Actually, we have some good reasons. First and foremost, J. Crew owes a lot of its success to gays and lesbians, who are famously good customers. Second, J. Crew is no longer actually based in Virginia–but it maintains major operations there, and “One Ivy Crescent, Lynchburg, Virginia” is simply part of its brand.

So we think that if the good people of J. Crew (or their accountants) see a homo boycott as a business issue, it is conceivable that they could drop their politically inconvient affiliation with the State that Loves to Hate. They should also let Virginia legislators know that hate is bad for business, and ask them to reconsider legislation that endangers private contracts and property rights.

It was pointed out on Metafilter that a similar boycott was quite successful in Colorado in the early 1990s, and I’d be quite happy to see the same thing succeed here.

By “succeed,” of course, I don’t mean that I desire to see Virginia business harmed. What I want is for these legislators to be compelled to see the error of their ways, if not through the force of moral argument, at least through the threat of economic repercussions.

I suppose I’ve been boycotting J. Crew for going on 26 years now, if I may abuse the word somewhat, so I can’t very well write them and pretend that it’s something new. I hope that others will write to J. Crew, though, and let the the company know that there’s a boycott on.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »