Board Meeting

Why Is PepsiCo Sitting Down With Ex-Gays?


We get it: Big corporations need to massage the agendas of any number of special interest groups to keep everyone happy. It’s a balancing act; it’s politics. But does that explain why the board of directors of PepsiCo — makers of such fine products as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Frito-Lay, Quaker, and Gatorade — welcomed Greg Quinlan, the “ex-gay” activist who’s proven to twist words, outright lie, and misrepresent accepted truths about sexuality?

In Dallas on Wednesday the board welcomed Quinlan, who was representing the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX). (Quinlan has, at one time or another, spoken for Ohio’s Pro-Family Network and the New Jersey Family Policy Counsel. He’s also a favorite target of Wayne Besen.) How come? So Quinlan could educate Pepsi on how their support for those crazy homosexuals is costing them consumers! He wants Pepsi’s board to approve Resolution 6 to provide a report to shareholders explaining standards for contributing to non-profits, what benefits PepsiCo receives, and how it monitors that ROI.

Donating to HRC, supporting PFLAG, and targeting gay consumers is, supposedly, turning off other more conservative consumers.

Technically, Quinlan — a former gay who found god — is right: Since January, the American Family Association has boycotted the company and its products. And, oh dear, from the looks of PepsiCo’s stock price ever since, it appears to be working!

If only that were an indicator of AFA’s effect. A greater litmus test for how well the boycott is going, however, is PepsiCo’s willingness to hear them out. Hopefully it’s just business savvy: Pretend to be listening to the opposition so they won’t grow more upset, while continuing to do the right thing and support the gay community — and attract the gay dollar.

UPDATE: We scored the audio of Quinlan’s speech, which makes his argument more clear: Pepsi supports groups like PFLAG, which hate people like Quinlan, and so Pepsi should stop supporting PFLAG, which Quinlan “personally considers a hate group.” Haha. Responds PepsiCo: Basically, shut up Quinlan. But more accurately: The company supports underserved communities and diversity in business, and shareholders can already see details on which groups Pepsi supports and why.

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  • Jason in WV

    Gay men who care about their bodies and overall health don’t drink soda, pop, or whatever you call it. Maybe its all those New Year’s resolutions that’s hurting their business.

    And besides, its Pepsi – who cares about that junk?

  • Joe

    Yes, yes – soda pop is empty calorie chemical death, we all know this (pause as I drink my fifth diet coke of the day – not the last!). But this bears keeping an eye on. PepsiCo is a MAJOR corporation and even the slightest hint of it listening to anti-gay groups is worth noting and responding to.

  • Jennifer

    Could these fundy scumbags please just DIE? Seriously. Their day is done.

  • D.C

    How can anyone even drink that crap?

    ANYONE who cares about their body would be weary of drinking soda. Transit to not from concentrate, low sugar juices if you need to satisfy your liquid sweet tooth.

    And don’t get me started on Dr. Pepper.

  • peet

    Damn, it seems even gays get all yuppie and conservative as they age. Jesus, people, live a little! And if you can’t afford to do so because you’ll blimp, then stop ragging on the those of us who can! Besides, this has nothing to do with whether gays drink soda or not; it’s about promoting corporate responsibility, and making sure that we verbalize our support for responsible corporate leadership. My god, I really can’t get over how bitchy you guys are! Low blood sugar, probably…

  • Gregoire

    Nobody should be drinking soda unless it’s as a mixer.

  • Chuck

    Don’t fuck with me fellas! This ain’t my first time at the Rodeo.


  • Sam

    @Jason in WV: PepsiCo is a lot more than just soda. Their other brands include Tropicana, Gatorade, Ocean Spray, SoBe, Aquafina, Starbucks (bottled beverages) and Quaker Oats, just to name a few.

  • GNBRob

    They also own Frito-Lay

  • benwa

    and taco bell and kentucky fried chicken and pizza hut

  • mark

    I can easily switch brands of diet soda, so Pepsi, figure out what is in your best interst, a couple hundred “ex”-queers, or 9% of EVERY major city and over 60% of straights under 35yo who support LGBT equality. THAT’S a real hard bottom line question…ain’t it, babycakes?

  • BillyGoat


    that’s actually not true. they used to though.

  • Chris

    Hi my name is Chris, I drink soda, and I am not ashamed.

  • alan brickman

    now i know why i
    drink coke…

  • KyleR

    I like Pepsi, especially their Pepsi Max. I dont know why just because your gay means ur not supposed to enjoy things in life. Like soda, and cake, and pie. And that everyone seems to think that to be thin, u have to stop eating the best things on the planet! Moderation. Thats the key.

  • nikko

    But junk food is junk food, and not something anyone should endorse.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    Pepsi is vile, liquid filth that tastes of dirty dishwater and dreams deferred.

    See? I was being poetic and shit with alliteration!

    I prefer Coke, but I don’t permit myself to drink it very often. I’ll stick to my Diet Rite Pure Zero, Black Cherry, Red Raspberry, and Tangerine. White Grape isn’t bad either. A multitude of delicious fruity flavours, zero calories, zero carbs, zero caffeine, and zero sodium. Plus it’s sweetened with Splenda, made from real sugar, not Nutrasweet, which will give you cancer of the everything and make your corpse smell like formaldahyde. Diet Rite…drink that shit.

    But on a serious note…repressed, anti-junk food queens…so glad I’m not a part of that scene.

  • TANK

    I find coke as thick as mucus and sickeningly sweet. It’s nothing compared to pepsi.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    Coke could kick Pepsi’s ass. Seriously.

  • TANK

    Coke is garbage. It’s a white trash drink. Pepsi is so much better. How can anyone drink coke? I really wonder sometimes if they’re not just doing it out of ignorance. In any event, coke drinks should be shot.

  • TANK

    drinkers, rather.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    As much as I’d love to continue this debate, it’s late and I have stuff to do tomorrow. But first, I’m going to go make some Pepsi…er…take a piss. Ciao, baby.

  • KyleR


    Are you serious? I drink Coke. I like it. So am I white trash and need to be shot because I drink Coke? You claim that people that drink it are ignorant. You just as guilty of being ignorant just by saying something so stupid. just like some of the other comments. Junk food is bad for you. But so is wine. I don’t see the gay community all up in arms over wine. No, your actually attacked if you DON’T drink wine. Looking at these comments, here and on other blogs; I can see how the religious wackos are able to effectively paint us as a bunch of whiny little bitches that want tolerance, but won’t dish it out to others.

  • TANK



  • TANK

    wine can be good for you (red wine). Perhaps you mean whine…and the gay community is awash in it.

  • KyleR


    Yes, it can be. And but your not paying attention to what I’m saying and said. In excess, its bad for you. In moderation, good. Excess, bad. That’s all I’m saying.

    And I guess it depends on what type of shooting your doing. Sry, I cudn’t help myself!!! :P

  • TANK

    Wine is only good for you in excess.

  • TANK

    That goes for all alcohol, though.

  • KyleR

    True, that is very true. ;)

  • PressWhore

    This was a moment where he spoke at a shareholder meeting. He was not welcomed and invited to speak for the big wigs at Pepsi Co. You really shouldn’t take this very seriously. If you have ever sat through any of these for a public company you’d have an idea of just how many crazies these sorts of things bring out.

  • mixed-fruits

    Has anyone else tried the Pepsi Throwback? It is supposedly the original ingredients version. It actually tasted better than the current version of Pepsi AND Coke. I liked that, but they’re out of it at the place where I got it twice. Does anyone know if they’re bringing that back to produce or it was just a special edition?

  • MeMeMe


    It’s not the Pepsi that makes a corpse smell of formaldehyde, it’s the formaldehyde they use in embalming.

    Lighten up, folks, put on your drag kit and sashay down the street drinking Pepsi products. They can market to whomever they please. In America, the consumer is Queen and if we appropriate their product, we own it. Krystal used to be a high-end champagne, now it’s the drink of gangstas and low-class blacks, despite the company’s best efforts.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @MeMeMe: You missed the point. I wasn’t talking about Pepsi specifically. I was referring to aspartame (Nutrasweet). If you want to know how evil that particular chemical is, do a little research on it. I refuse to knowingly ingest it.

  • TANK

    Here’s a tip. If any of your pots and pans have buildup that no amount of scrubbing will take out (staining, etc), just put some COKE in it, and heat it up. Those stains will come out in no time, and the bottom of your pan or pot will glisten like new. Hey, if it’ll take the rust off of an engine, it’ll salvage a sauce pan.

    YAY COKE! (Just imagine what it’s doing to your insides!).

  • vernonvanderbilt

    You can also use Coke on the windshield of your car during heavy rains. Pour a can of Coke all up on that shit and the water beads right up, making decent visibility much easier to achieve than with wipers alone.

  • drew

    Coke vs. Pepsi. Krystal is the drink of gangstas and low-class blacks…

    Teh gays crack me up!

  • pickles

    The WAY to make sure Pepsi knows we appreciate their support of PFLAG and others is to LET THEM KNOW>>>

    Write to them here. Follow their prompts and get the word out. It takes less than 3 minutes (or one commercial brake on TV). Do it…

  • Steve

    Remember that Pepsi recently signed on with Rockstar Energy Drink- created by the son of Michael Savage, and I believe it’s partially owned by Michael Savage as well. I haven’t bought much Pepsi after learning that.

  • jmachoutx

    Back to the original subject of this post (which was not actually whether Coke is better than Pepsi, or vice versa), it sounds as though Quinlan or PFOX holds stock in PepsiCo, which entitles him/them to submit a shareholder proposition. That’s hardly the same as Pepsi “sitting down” with the self-deluded haters of PFOX.

    It’s not unusual for a nonprofit to obtain stock in a company in order to have access to stockholder meetings. That doesn’t mean that the company supports or endorses their views. So it’s a little premature for anyone to call for a gay boycott of PepsiCo products.

  • Tim

    Hasn’t anyone heard of DIET pop? It contains no sugar and no corn sweetener and has zero calories. It is a very healthy drink. Pepsi comes in a DIET version too, and it doesn’t taste funny like it did years ago. They’ve changed to modern sweeteners years ago. In fact, today DIET pop tastes better than regular in my opinion.

  • Mark

    Sounds like another case of religious nutbags sticking their reality-challenged noses into places they’re far too emotionally unstable to handle.

  • Brent

    @jmachoutx: Thank you for getting us back on task. I was going to post a similiar comment and glad I am not the only blog reader here that cares more about social justice than which brand of soft drink is best.

  • BrianZ

    Hmm, sounds like PepsiCo’s board heard the man out, and sent him packing with nothing to show for it. I don’t see how being blindly pro-gay is any more attractive than being blindly anti-gay. When groups, companies, individuals are able to be seen as being open to listening to what people have to say and then making a good choice, it strengthens their position on the subject and makes them good allies. It adds to the arguement that this is the right thing to do. It cuts both ways, I realize this. Which is why I also think that watching the crazy people is a good idea, and making sure they aren’t “converting” otherwise good people to their warped, hate-filled cause. ;o)

    Oh, and Diet Pepsi and Diet Mt Dew rock.

Comments are closed.