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Sun Jun 27 2004Pride: Brought to You by the Extreme Right Beer
Sun Jun 27 2004Corporate Pride and Coors Beer
6/27/04: As Pride festivities have been hitting the streets across the US this month, the battle continues to rage over corporate sponsorship of what started, at least, as a political movement. By far the most controversial corporate sponsor has been Coors, controlled by the Coors family, which donates millions each year to anti-gay and other right-wing causes, started the Heritage Foundation, and whose side ventures have ranged from the John Birch Society to the Nicaraguan Contras. Following the outcry from queer activists that Pride is about true liberation, not a marketing scheme for anti-gay corporations, there has been some progress: so far this year only three cities are helping Coors sell beer: Atlanta, Denver and Reno.
Peter Coors is currently on unpaid leave from Coors Brewing Company to campaign for US Senate as a Republican; according to Coors, during this time, Peter Coors' views, for instance supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage, "do not reflect the views of the company." For several years, the National Lawyers Guild has been supporting a boycott of Coors, which has recently been renewed in light of Peter Coors' run for Congress.
Following a labor-backed boycott against Coors' union-busting policies, in 1978, gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk launched a boycott of Coors products that spread across the country—triggered by Coors' employees being forced to take homosexuality lie detector tests. Since then Coors has attempted to court the gay community. It extended benefits to the partners of gay workers and in 1999 hired Mary Cheney to help it gain access to the gay market. Cheney left the company in 2000 to work on her father Dick Cheney's campaign for Vice President.
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