Stella Maxwell
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Coca-Cola's LGBTQ Ads Spur Boycott Calls in Hungary

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A senior member of Hungary's conservative party is calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola in response to its pro-LGBTQ advertising.

István Boldog, the deputy speaker of the nationalist Fidesz party, called a series of posters featuring smiling same-sex couples holding sodas "provocative," reports The Guardian.

The campaign, with slogans like #LoveIsLove and "zero sugar, zero prejudice," is tied to the weeklong Sziget music festival beginning Wednesday in Budapest. This year's theme of the festival, expected to draw a crowd of around 500,000, is "Love Revolution."

Conservative media outlets also channeled Boldog's outrage. "The homosexual lobby is laying siege to Budapest, leaving no space to avoid this,” stated PestiSrácok. An anti-abortion group began a petition to remove the billboards that has accrued over 25,000 signatures.

However, Coca-Cola defended the campaign in a statement. “Our belief that everyone has a right to love and that the feeling of love is the same for all,” it stated.

It is unclear if calls for a boycott will gain much traction in Hungary. Around 64 percent of Hungarians believe that LGB people should have the same rights as straight people, according to the 2017 ILGA-RIWI Global Attitudes Survey.

Although the Central European nation offers partnerships to same-sex couples, marriage equality is banned at present. The Fidesz party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has vowed to uphold this ban on marriage as well as adoption for gay couples. "An apple cannot ask to be called a pear," Orban said in a 2016 interview on his beliefs regarding same-sex marriage.

However, anti-LGBTQ attitudes in Hungary pale in comparison to its neighbor, Poland, where some cities have called themselves "LGBT-free" and the ruling Law and Justice party has openly launched an antigay campaign to rile up its conservative base.

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