An international soft drink giant is being pressured to take a stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights as Uganda's infamous "kill the gays" bill continues to take shape.
Sum Of Us is petitioning Pepsi, which has apparently a huge Ugandan presence, to use its influence in opposing the legislation.
The petition, which currently has over 100,000 signatures, notes that if Pepsi were to speak out against the bill, it would "force Ugandan officials to put the bill on hold -- or even pull it entirely."
"As citizen-consumers, we have tremendous influence over Pepsi," organizers write. "It has customers all over the world -- meaning that, unlike the MPs in Uganda who are pushing this bill, Pepsi cares what we think and say about them. And for this piece of legislation, our position is clear -- Pepsi must use its power as a major company in Uganda to communicate clearly to Ugandan legislators that this hateful bill must be stopped."
Having been promoted as a "Christmas gift" to Uganda, the controversial bill could reportedly pass any day now.
Although lawmaker David Bahati told the Associated Press that the bill had "moved away from the death penalty," Ugandan LGBT advocate Frank Mungisha dismissed those claims.
I’m worried about my own safety but not as much as I’m worried about other LGBT people in Uganda,” he told HuffPost Gay Voices' Michelangelo Signorile. “I know people in Uganda who are going to suffer a lot of intimidation, blackmail and extortion, people who could be killed if this legislation is passed."