Coca-Cola bought out the front pages of several Swiss newspapers this week to make a statement in support of an upcoming (February 9) referendum that would criminalize homophobia.
SWI reported: “The legislation approved by parliament last December extends anti-racism norms to encompass discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation: a legal modification that allows for homophobia to be prosecuted just like racism, or anti-Semitism.”
The ultra-conservative Federal Democratic Union (FDU) party, the youth wing of the Swiss People’s Party and the Youth and Family Working Group forced a referendum on the legislation which will happen this week.
The youth wing of the Swiss People’s Party (JSVP) has called for a boycott of Coca-Cola because of the company’s support.
The Local reports: “Alongside the hard-right Federal Democratic Union, the JSVP are one of the highest-profile opponents of the referendum, saying that restrictions on homophobic statements would amount to a curtailing of free speech rights. Although the American soft drink company has involved itself in political campaigns elsewhere before, such political engagement is rare in Switzerland.”