Coke gives anti-gay RFRA supporters heartburn

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Have a Coke and a smile, gays. The Atlanta beverage giant finally came out against a “religious freedom” bill, the self-inflicted defeat of which has made some of its anti-gay supporters frown.

State Sen. Josh McKoon's anti-gay “religious freedom” bill suffered anear fatal blowlast week before hinting at a comeback and then finally collapsing as McKoon himself admittedhe was donefor the year. (He did, though, promise a resurrection just in time for Easter duringhis come-to-Jesus speechfrom the Senate floor.)

And Coke, which sat publicly silent this year afteropposing itlast,came out againstthe legislation on Friday. Let's just call that drag time.

Coca-Cola does not support any legislation that discriminates, in our home state of Georgia or anywhere else. Coca-Cola values and celebrates diversity. We believe policies that would allow a business to refuse service to an individual based upon discrimination of any kind, does not only violate our Company's core values, but would also negatively affect our consumers, customers, suppliers, bottling partners and associates. As a business, it is appropriate for us to help foster diversity, unity and respect among all people.

We advocate for inclusion, equality and diversity through both our policies and practices. Coca-Cola does not condone intolerance or discrimination of any kind anywhere in the world.

Coke joined several companies, convention bureaus, Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commercein speaking out against the bill in the closing days of the legislature.

As gay Atlantarallied on Tuesdayto help nail the bill's coffin closed, McKoon's supporters were grumpy. Really grumpy.

Virginia Galloway of the Faith & Freedom Coalition,the anti-gay grouprun by political strategist Ralph Reed that lobbied for the bill during legislative hearings, expressed her displeasure at lawmakers not advancing the anti-gay bill.

“I think it's a pretty clear message to people of faith that they don't matter under this Gold Dome,” Galloway told WSB.

Aww, sad face.


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