Ritz Crackers released moving festive ad “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” last month

Conservative activists have declared Ritz Crackers an enemy in the “culture war” after a Christmas ad featuring a queer couple.

The brand released moving festive ad “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” last month, featuring a number of people finding connection from isolation – including a man who is shunned by his parents, but finds a happy place with his partner and chosen family.

The ad, part of a partnership with non-profits including the It Gets Better project, riffs on the idea of what family means, concluding: “The holidays are about spending time with family, or the one you make.”

While there’s very little in the ad to be offended about, that hasn’t stopped anti-LGBT+ conservative activists from bombarding the ad with hateful messages. It has racked up more than 6,000 dislikes on YouTube, and hundreds of hateful messages on Facebook.

Right-wing activists lash out at ‘disgusting’ advert

One commenter raged: “This is disgusting! Why are you promoting homosexuality? That’s nasty. For shame Ritz, I’m throwing all my crackers out. You’ve permanently lost a customer.”

Another fumed: “What a sick demented commercial.”

The American Family Association (AFA), an ultra-conservative lobbying group, has declared war on the company, lashed out at the ad’s depiction of a man “putting on lipstick like a woman and effeminately clinging to another man”, claiming it is intended to “brainwash children and adults alike by desensitising audiences”.

The AFA has launched a full-scale pressure campaign telling the company to “stay away from social agendas” – less of a dog whistle, more of a fog horn – encouraging supporters to send a pre-written complaint telling Ritz the ad ” will influence my future purchases”.

The message continues: “I am extremely disappointed that Ritz is refusing to remain neutral in the cultural war.

“Ritz is pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda on families with its most recent commercial. People who are already confused about their gender identity should not be encouraged to embark on a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle.”

Ritz Crackers is facing attacks over its moving festive ad
Ritz Crackers is facing attacks over its moving festive ad

The group quoted evangelical radio host Dr Michael Brown, who has previously staged protests at Pride events and advocated for the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda. He said: “There is so much confusion in our society today. Same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage, gay Christianity, transgender identity, what’s right, what’s wrong.”

AFA raged: “Ritz needs to hear from you. Supporting the transgender agenda instead of remaining neutral in the cultural war is just bad business.

“If Ritz Crackers refuses to remain neutral, then Christians will vote with their pocketbooks and support companies that do.”

Ritz Crackers remains silent as haters rage

The company is yet to respond to the abuse.

Launching the ad campaign last month, it said: “Ritz is on a mission to help make the world a more welcoming place. That’s why we’re partnering with The It Gets Better Project, Hispanic Star and Invisible People by donating $50,000 to help support communities in need this season.

“The It Gets Better Project aims to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth by providing access to a collection of inspiring stories of resilience and determination, as told by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“They envision a world where all LGBTQ+ youth are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals.”