Yesterday Coca-Cola issued a statement declaring their support for the LGBT community after Queer Nation staged a protest in Times Square and denounced the company’s sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics. Today Queen Nation responds to Coca-Cola’s statement via press release:
Coca-Cola made a horrendous error when it sponsored the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany. This company knows better and it must not sponsor any Olympic Games in Russia as long as Russia’s anti-gay laws remain in force. We also commend Coca-Cola for its Global Mutual Respect guidelines. Unfortunately, they are just that — guidelines. They are not binding. The guidelines close as follows:
“The Company reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. Nothing in this policy says or implies that a contract exists between the Company and its employees or that participation in this program is a guarantee of continued employment with The Coca-Cola Company.”
Coca-Cola’s U.S. non-discrimination policies and benefits packages are binding, and they are to be praised. That is why we demanded that Coca-Cola implement those policies worldwide. The LGBT community has won respect on its own since the 1969 Stonewall Riots. What we demand is equality before the law in every nation around the world. Coca-Cola cannot provide that, but it can and must extend its non-discrimination policies and benefits packages to all of its employees around the world.
And so we reiterate our demands.
Among those demands is a call for Coke to withdraw from sponsoring the Sochi Olympics and for the company to “publish and publicize its LGBT employment policies on its Russian website in Russian and on physical bulletin boards and websites at all Coca-Cola owned and operated facilities.”