The Religious Right is retreating from the Pepsi generation. The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Pepsi because the company is “now using its TV spots to promote the gay lifestyle”.
In Canada, a “bisexual” man came out of the closet on a commercial and declared his love for Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. In a more recent spot aired in the UK, a man drinks a Pepsi to find courage to ask someone out. He passes up two women and expresses interest in a man.
Oh. My. God. Gay people drink soda, and ask people for dates. How … boring is that? Well, that’s the point, you see. By featuring gay people doing boring things like drinking sugar-water and seeking love (in all the wrong or right places), it’s harder for the AFA and other anti-gay groups to portray gays and lesbians as sub-human sex addicts out to recruit and molest children. If gay and lesbian people are seen as “normal” then that “normalizes” and “humanizes” them, and the AFA simply can’t have that.
The AFA is also upset that Pepsi has financially supported the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as well as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). But the worst thing Pepsi is doing, in their minds, is fostering a little understanding:
Pepsi also forces its employees to attend sexual orientation and gender identity diversity training, where they are taught to accept homosexuality.
While I’m sure the diversity program at Pepsi seeks to educate employees on gays and lesbians, I doubt anyone is forcing an employee to “accept homosexuality.” They can emerge from these classes just as homophobic as they went in—but one can hope they’ll at least refrain from harassing those who may be different from themselves.
This is just the latest in a long line of boycotts by religious rights groups. They’ve already boycotted other companies like Ford—taking credit for the carmaker’s dip in sales at the height of the last round of soaring gas prices—Proctor and Gamble, McDonald’s, and Kraft Foods. So, religious right boycotters must avoid a wide variety of products including Charmin toilet paper, Tide detergent, Pampers, Bounty paper towels, Duracell batteries, Mallomars (oh, the torture!), Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Nilla wafers, and Big Macs, just to name a few. Now, they must avoid all Frito-Lay products, Gatorade, Tropicana juices, Quaker Oats products, and even good old American Cracker Jacks.
Whatever will they eat during the Super Bowl?
At this rate, the AFA and its cohorts will have to retreat completely from society and grow their own foods. Hey, now there’s an idea …