‘God hates Diet Pepsi’
A group that advocates “traditional family values” claims it has the signatures of 500,000 people who have pledged to boycott Pepsi over what it says are the company’s activities promoting gay rights.
The American Family Association, which boasts “2.5 million online supporters,” “asked PepsiCo to be neutral in the culture war and not support the homosexual agenda,” it said in a press release Tuesday. “PepsiCo refused. The company continues to give financial support to homosexual organizations.”
The AFA launched its boycott campaign in January over PepsiCo’s “continued support of same-sex marriage and homosexual advocacy.” The group said it had received a “condescending letter” from Pepsi that “refused to address Pepsi’s support of the homosexual agenda.”
In particular, the AFA decried PepsiCo’s donations to groups that funded the effort against California’s Proposition 8 last year. The AFA said PepsiCo gave $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign, which had worked to defeat Proposition 8.
The proposition, which barred same-sex marriage in the state and passed by a narrow margin last November, was supported by numerous conservative groups, as well as the Mormon church. By some reports, the Mormon church raised around $19 million for the Proposition 8 effort, amounting to 75 percent of all donations.
The Pepsi boycott seems to be having some effect within the Christian conservative community. Last month, the Westboro Baptist Church, of “God hates fags” fame, protested in downtown Atlanta with signs that read “God hates Diet Pepsi.”
Last month, Bell Shoals Baptist, a mega-church in Brandon, Florida, removed its Pepsi vending machines and replaced them with Coke machines.
“We fight this battle one skirmish at a time,” said Terry Kemple, the Bell Shoals member who organized the vending machine change, in an interview with the Brandon News & Tribune. “Our forefathers came here for religious liberty, not sexual liberty.”
But the church’s switch from Pepsi to Coke — which other Florida churches joined — may have been a strategic mistake. As Bridgette LaVictoire reported on the LezGetReal blog, “Coca Cola has consistently scored higher on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of LGBT friendly businesses” than Pepsi.
“The AFA [is] furious with PepsiCo over their diversity training, which is actually not quite as good as Coca Cola’s, and their work place support of LGBT individuals, which is not quite the same level of support as seen in Coca Cola Corp.,” she wrote.
Earlier this year, the AFA slammed Pepsi and the Fox animated comedy Family Guy for “condon[ing] bestiality, gay orgies and babies eating sperm.” The group was offended by an episode in which main character Peter Griffin was “turned gay” after taking an experimental shot of the “gay gene.” Evidently the group was upset that the show portrayed homosexuality as something that is not a choice.
“Pepsi and FOX network joined hands to bring a perverted and sickening episode of TV’s Family Guy into the homes of millions of Americans,” the group said in a statement.
“Interestingly … there’s no mention of the word ‘Pepsi’ anywhere in the show,” Frederick Reinhardt wrote at Examiner.com. “I wonder if Pepsi just happened to be one of the 24 other advertisers of the show when it aired.”
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